Jamaicans and Belizeans protest Prince William and Kate Middleton during their Caribbean tour over the royal family's racist past
Prince William and Kate Middleton's tour marks the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, but many see it as a celebration of the British monarchy's colonial past.The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are currently on a weeklong royal tour of the Caribbean countries that are part of the Commonwealth — Belize, Jamaica, and the Bahamas. The tour is part of Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee celebrations, and a press release from the palace states William and Middleton hoped to see how the pandemic impacted these nations during their trip, as well as meet as many locals as they can.
© Provided by People Samir Hussein/WireImage Kate Middleton
During the royals' second day of their visit to Jamaica, Kate Middleton made sure to stay focused on her primary mission of championing early childhood education around the globe.
"I truly believe we are on the cusp of one of the biggest opportunities for positive change in generations," she said in a speech at Shortwood Teacher Training College in Kingston.
The Duchess of Cambridge, 40, hoped to highlight the work of one of the country's leading colleges training teachers in early years education, so she and Prince William, 39, headed to the college, which was one of the first to offer training in early childhood education and is a leading proponent of the field.
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"It is so wonderful to hear your ideas and enthusiasm for teaching and the hopes you have to influence the lives of young people," said the mother Prince George, 8; Princess Charlotte, 6, and Prince Louis, 3.
College Principal Dr. Claudette Barrett-March told PEOPLE: "We were very happy to share what we do because we train teachers to do that out in the wider society in Jamaica and even in Britain, we have some of our past students teaching in Britain at this time."
Kate said of the school, which was founded in 1885, "Shortwood is obviously a very special place, with a proud history. Because, as you know, it has been supporting teachers and therefore the children of Jamaica for over one hundred years."
Shortly after the couple's arrival, Dr. Barrett-March took the couple to the John F. Kennedy Library for a discussion around early years in Jamaica and the College's research faculty.
In her remarks on Wednesday, the Duchess noted that children's earliest experiences are critical to their long-term development: "It is when we learn how to form relationships, how to connect to one another, how to manage our feelings and emotions. It is when we learn to develop a sense of identity, belonging and worthiness. And it is when we shape our values and understanding of the world we live in."
She continued, "That is why I am so passionate about early childhood. Because we are doing something much more than building healthy children. We are nurturing the children and the adults that they will become, the families they will build and the communities they will be part of."
Kate Middleton Is Gorgeous In Blue Satin Gown On Caribbean Visit With Prince William: Photos
Kate Middleton stunned in a Cinderella-esque blue gown just after she was spotted wearing shorts for the first time in years. Kate Middleton gave off some stunning Cinderella vibes while on their annual Caribbean trip. She stunned in a light blue satin dress with straps that slid down her shoulders and held a matching clutch as she walked beside Prince William. He looked just as classy wearing a tuxedo and a fancy bowtie. The two definitely looked like royalty in their elegant attire.
And she made a point to recognize the members the teachers and future teachers in attendance for standing on "the front line of this vital work [and playing] a crucial role in shaping our societies by positively impacting the futures of literally thousands of young people over the course of your careers."
Shortwood College not only trains students to become practitioners and conduct research in early childhood education and care, it also offers professional development programs to the early childhood sector.
After the discussion, Dr. Barrett-March and the royals walked to the Practising Infant and Primary School to meet children and their parents. This school adjoins the campus and provides teacher training opportunities for students and is where the research undertaken by Faculty staff is put into practice.
"One of the main things is the way we engage our parents, whether they come into the schools or we go out into the communities to meet with them," Dr. Barrett-March told PEOPLE. "The college has parenting seminars all the time so they find a way to impact the parents to help them to understand how they can help the children to learn."
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Prince William and Kate Middleton were previously praised for modernizing the monarchy. Now, they're being viewed by many as tone-deaf.The tour was supposed to be in celebration of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, which marks her 70 years on the throne. The Queen is head of state of 14 Commonwealth countries, almost all of which are former colonies of the British empire.
She continued, "So, when they learn in school, it doesn't stop at school, they are able to reinforce what is done at home. That is one of the big things that we try to do here in Jamaica — and we try to train our teachers in training so when they go out into the schools."
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Improving the outcomes of children in the first five years of their lives is one of Kate's keystone public projects, and, following her trip to Denmark last month, this is the second time she has taken the work of her Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood on to the international stage.
Dr. Barrett-March praised the Duchess's efforts "across the world" and said the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood is "looking forward to working with my early childhood faculty here. We will be able to get some work done to enhance what we do here." © Provided by People Samir Hussein/WireImage
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Kate visited Shortwood directly after a meeting with Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who delivered a speech directly addressing anti-monarchy protests in the country, as well as the steps the government has been taking to remove Queen Elizabeth as Jamaica's head of state.
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On the final stop of her Caribbean Tour alongside Prince William, Kate Middleton made her very own Cinderella moment during a dinner in The Bahamas.On March 25, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended a dinner in The Bahamas at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar hotel in Nassau. For the royal occasion, Kate, 40, had her very own modern Cinderella moment wearing a light blue satin ballgown by British couture designer Phillipa Lepley.
"Jamaica is a very free and liberal country and the people are very expressive — and I'm certain that you would have seen the spectrum of expressions yesterday," Holness said, referencing both the couple's warm welcome in Trench Town and the protests in the country's capital.
"There are issues here, which as you know, are unresolved, but your presence gives us an opportunity for those issues to be placed in context, to be out front and center and to be addressed as best we can," he continued. "But Jamaica is, as you would see, is a country that is proud of its history and very proud of what we have achieved. And we're moving on and we intend to … fulfill our true ambitions and destiny to become an independent, developed and prosperous country."
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The Independent previously reported that, despite the growing momentum of the republican movement, there was "some resistance from within the Jamaican Government" toward severing the relationship with the royals — including Holness's own position as a sovereign advisor in the Queen's Privy Council.
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And in a conversation with PEOPLE on Tuesday night, one Jamaican hero — Chris Stokes, the real-life inspiration behind the 1993 hit film Cool Runnings — urged for a measured, respectful approach to the change both during the royals' visit and moving forward.
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"People talk about reparations and so on, which are worth discussing," he said, "but that should not take away from what you do in this moment we find ourselves in and what sort of future we seek to create." © Provided by People Chis Jackson-Pool/Getty Images Prince William and Kate Middleton meeting with bobsleigh legend Chris Stokes during a visit to Trench Town, Jamaica on March 22.
Noting that William and Kate "presented themselves with humility and graciousness," he added, "They knew a little bit more about us than we knew about them. They treated the entire situation with a great deal of respect which is important regardless of situation."
He emphasized, "We need to embrace a new tomorrow even though we don't know what that shape is. But that means living together with respect."
Read the original article on People
How Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton's Royal Tour Wardrobes Compare .
Both Kate and Meghan have undertaken royal tours requiring large wardrobes with equally large lists of demands.The template for dressing on modern royal tours was set by Queen Elizabeth II in the 1950s and has been followed by royal women ever since. When Kate Middleton embarked on her first foreign tour as a member of the royal family in 2011, she dutifully followed the standard set by those that came before her. Now, with over a decade of royal service under her belt, Kate is beginning to relax the grip of precedent and tradition, allowing her to be a little more individual with her taste.