The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spent last week traveling across three realms of the Commonwealth of Nations – Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas – on a trip aimed at celebrating the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s accession to the throne.
Last November, Barbados severed its last remaining colonial ties with London, ousted the Queen as head of state and installed its first female president, Sandra Mason.
In a statement issued by Kensington Palace on Saturday, the Duke said the overseas tours were an “opportunity for reflection”.
“You learn a lot. What is on the minds of prime ministers. The hopes and aspirations of school children. The daily challenges facing families and societies,” he explained.
However, in a frank admission, William continued, “I know this tour has brought a much sharper focus to questions about the past and the future. In Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas, that future is up to people to decide on. But I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with the communities in All three countries, and to understand more about the issues that matter most to them.”
William reiterated his commitment to serve, along with his wife Catherine, before adding: “For us, this is not telling people what to do. It’s about serving and supporting them in whatever way they think best, using the platform, we are fortunate to have.”
“Who the Commonwealth chooses to lead his family into the future is not what I have in mind. What matters to us is the ability that the Commonwealth family has in creating a better future for the people who make up it, and our commitment to serve and support as best we can.”
William and Kate’s first official visit to the region was fraught with problems. Jamaica’s prime minister told the couple on Wednesday that the country was “moving forward” and would achieve its “real ambition” to be “independent”.
Earlier in the trip to Belize, a royal engagement was also called off amid opposition from locals.
Sign up for Royal CNN Newsa weekly bulletin that brings you the inside track of the royal family, what they’re doing in public and what’s happening behind the palace walls.
“Infuriatingly humble analyst. Bacon maven. Proud food specialist. Certified reader. Avid writer. Zombie advocate. Incurable problem solver.”