Harry & Meghan's Trip To Jamaica Sends Bold Message To Royal Family

Every little thing is far from all right in Buckingham Palace. While Catherine, Princess of Wales, recovers from abdominal surgery and King Charles III recuperates from a prostate procedure, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, are once again fanning the flames of dissension.

Earlier this week, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex attended the premiere of the film "Bob Marley: One Love," a biopic based on the life of the Jamaican musician. Their very public outing sparked questions about their concern for their relatives, but it was the location of the event that really put a cherry (bomb) on top of the situation: the movie premiere was held in Marley's home country, specifically in Kingston, Jamaica. 

There were other big names at the premiere, including Prime Minister Andrew Holness — the same Jamaican leader who met with Prince William and Kate Middleton when they visited the country in March 2022. While both couples' presence in Jamaica caused a stir, one was accidental, and one appears to be a bold move in the royal chess game. "Under normal circumstances there would be nothing wrong with them going to a film premiere," Phil Dampier, royal commentator, explained to the Daily Mail. "But at a time when his father is going under the knife and Jamaica is making noises about ditching the monarchy, this is rather insensitive." 

Two couples, two very different Jamaica trips

Everyone was all smiles, laughing and joking before the premiere of the movie "Bob Marley: One Love" in Jamaica. On the red carpet, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex stopped to chat and pose with Prime Minister Andrew Holness; his wife Juliet Holness, who also serves as a member of the Jamaican Parliament; and Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange. 

The scene was quite different from when Prince William and Kate Middleton met with Holness during their messy royal tour of the Caribbean country, which is a member of the British Commonwealth — for now, at least. The royal couple's trip was fraught with awkward moments, protests, and the prime minister confirming directly to Prince William his intention to remove the British monarchy as the country's head of state, which would remove Jamaica from the Commonwealth. A referendum later this year will determine whether Jamaica will break away from the royal family and become a republic. 

The contrast between the two visits was noticeable and noted, with Prince Harry and Meghan seeming to show off their split from the royals, and offering support to the Jamaican government for their own planned separation. As fellow commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told the Daily Mail, "They have clearly chosen this difficult time to remind the Royal Family of what they have lost."

The defense of Prince Harry and Meghan

British royalists may not like that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have seemingly aligned with the Prime Minister of Jamaica, but the country has more than one love for the couple. "The royal family are complete fools to have let those two go," Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, a British Nigerian lawyer, activist, and political commentator, told Newsweek. "If Harry and Meghan had maintained some partial role with the royal family I think they would have succeeded in showing a side of the royal family that the royal family certainly lacks." 

While the dynamic duo have taken hits for not showing any public support for Kate Middleton and King Charles during their surgical recoveries, it was reported that Prince Harry and Meghan have reached out on a personal level to express their support and concern for their family members. 

Royal historian Dr. Tessa Dunlop shared with the Mirror she believes that the backlash Prince Harry and Meghan have received has less to do with the couple chatting up leaders in the Jamaican government and more to do with unresolved hurt feelings caused by their stepping away from the royal family, saying, "Their presence at the "Bob Marley: One Love" premiere felt like another Great British snub."