A Royal Expert Is Lashing Out At Kate And William Amid Their Royal Tour

For most people, an extended trip to three Caribbean islands would be their idea of paradise. For Prince William and Kate Middleton, however, it has been a bumpier-than-expected ride. The Cambridges have been visiting Belize, Jamaica, and the Bahamas in honor of Queen Elizabeth's historical Platinum Jubilee, per People. Though the countries are independent, they are still part of Britain's 54-member Commonwealth of Nations with the queen as their head of state — and that doesn't sit well with many of the locals. The royal couple was met with protests from Jamaican residents demanding apology and reparation from England for its history of colonization and slavery (via TIME); they also had to cancel one of their Belize stops over resistance to their landing a helicopter on land owned by indigenous people.

 Prince William tried to address the opposition during the visit. In Jamaica, he gave an address in which he called slavery "abhorrent" and said, "it never should have happened" (via Vanity Fair). Later, in the Bahamas, he declared that the Commonwealth countries were free to decide whether to continue their connection with the crown, and that he and Catherine would "serve and support as best [they] can," per People

Still, the whole concept of the tour is being called into question by some royals experts. In this day and age, they argue, is it really appropriate to expect nations like Jamaica to honor the country that once exploited them?

Critics are calling William and Kate's royal tour tone-deaf

There were some charming highlights of Prince William and Kate Middleton's royal tour, including an encounter with a Bahamian schoolgirl who presented Kate with flowers and said that the meeting would inspire her to stand up to bullies, according to the Express. There were also chuckles over the Duchess's first taste of a local delicacy, seen here: "conch pistol." But some commentators still feel that these moments weren't enough to compensate for the cringiness of the tour itself.

Among the critics is Jan Moir, a columnist for the Daily Mail — a tabloid that usually takes a pro-royals stance. In a recent editorial, she wrote that the trip was an embarrassing train wreck. "White ultra-privileged royalty gamely watching the locals caper about and entertain them; later shaking the hands of Jamaicans corralled behind wire fencing? It's all so last century. It's all so over." 

Moir then addressed "the real problem": William is still part of a system that elevates one particular family above all others. "He may have the best will in the world, but in the increasingly clamorous social and racial politics of today, he is as ridiculous and obsolete as a royal dodo," she wrote.

Royals author Omid Scobie — who is a fan of Meghan Markle, but not running in the same circle of friends — commented on Moir's essay in a tweet: "This tour was an opportunity to try and show the monarchy can modernize — hold themselves accountable where appropriate, be eager to listen and learn, mindful, open to change. Instead, even the media royalists are today writing how out of touch parts of the trip have come across."