Kate and William put on brave face amid slavery storm with joke about bringing British weather to Bahamas
By Max Parry
Published: 25/03/2022- 19:29
Updated: 25/03/2022- 19:31
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge apologised for bringing British weather to the Caribbean as torrential downpours swamped the Bahamas.
It comes as protesters have called on the royals to pay reparations for slavery on the islands.
The Duchess of Cambridge holds an umbrella as she visits Sybil Strachan Primary School to meet pupils and staff, before joining the school’s morning assembly, in Nassau, Bahamas.
Hundreds had waited to see the royal couple in the capital Nassau, but were left bedraggled by the monsoon-like conditions – but the carnival atmosphere could not be dampened.
William and Kate watched a Junkanoo parade, similar to extravaganzas staged across the Caribbean, with performers in elaborate costumes dancing to a pulsing beat provided by musicians playing cowbells, whistles and brass instruments.
The couple had waited until the worst of the weather had passed before walking into the capital’s Parliament Square to go on a walkabout while sheltering under umbrellas.
Kate stopped to chat to Alexis Tsavoussis, 29, an interior designer from Nassau, who said: “She was lovely, she was asking where we were from and what we did.
“She said she was sorry that it rained on us but was happy that we came out in the rain.”
William spoke to spectators on the other side of the square and the couple stopped to watch the Junkanoo parade that saw locals holding up their smart phones to capture the moment.
Earlier, the Cambridges had paid tribute to key workers in the Bahamas who had battled through the pandemic and shared their methods for coping with trauma.
Kate spoke to medial staff from the Princess Margaret Hospital about the relationship between physical and mental fitness, after successive lockdowns in the UK due to the Covid-19 crisis.
A woman holds a protest sign during a Royal visit of Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, in Nassau, Bahamas.
Dr Thomas Smith told the Duchess how community services had been rocked by the pressures of the pandemic and his worries for people’s mental health.
He said: “We are seeing a bigger need for those types of services, especially in a community setting. It’s been tough mentally on many people.
“Our services really are from cradle to grave so we cater for everyone but it’s important to recognise a need for those community relations as well.”
Kate said: “That’s so right. We have to look after our mental fitness as well as the physical side. I think people recognise that more and more.
“This is the perfect opportunity to have that conversation – and early intervention is really important too.”
William was on the other side of a line-up of community groups from the Bahamas in the Garden of Remembrance, behind the Parliament Building.
The Duke spoke members of the Bahamas Red Cross who had battled the effects of the devastating Hurricane Dorian in 2019 and then were deployed to deal with Covid bases.
He said: “You guys have had it pretty full on. Two such seismic events but now an opportunity to rebuild for the future.
“And I suppose that’s where you guys come in again with your expertise.”
Lightening the mood he said: “We don’t want any more disasters for you, let’s hope the Bahamas Red Cross has a boring few years!”
Demonstrations have called on the royals to apologise for slavery.
Their trip has taken them from Belize to Jamaica and finally the Bahamas.
The Duke of Cambridge did not apologise for slavery, nor did Prince Charles when he last visited Barbados.