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Island asks Wessexes to use ‘diplomatic influence’ to aid bid for reparations

The Earl of Wessex gave a nervous snort after the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda urged him and Sophie to use their “diplomatic influence” to obtain “reparatory justice” for the island.

Edward joked that he had not been taking notes throughout Gaston Browne’s opening remarks so couldn’t reply to all of the factors he had made.

The prime minister didn’t snort on the remark.

It follows protests on the couple’s go to to St Vincent and the Grenadines on Saturday, the place banners had been held aloft saying “compensation now” and “Britain your debt is outstanding”.

Mr Browne additionally informed the earl and countess it’s the nation’s want to “one day become a republic”.

The prime minister’s remarks got here at a meeting between Edward and Sophie, Mr Browne and his cupboard throughout their go to to the island on Monday.

The earl nervously laughed after being requested to give phrases in response to Mr Browne’s speech.

Despite stating the nation would sooner or later need to change position, the prime minister acknowledged that it’s “not currently on the cards”.

He informed Edward and Sophie: “You will have noticed there are no protestations here,” including that they weren’t “holding placards”.

Mr Browne stated the choice not to protest was as a result of they believed in having an “open and very objective discussion”.

The prime minister stated he understood the royal household didn’t get entangled in “contentious issues” however stated he needed them to “understand these issues… so you can use your diplomatic influence in achieving the reparatory justice that we seek”.

Mr Browne added: “The reality is we have been left and bereft of modern institutions such as universities and medicinal facilities.”

He stated: “We continue to have the Queen as our head of state, even though I should say we aspire at some point to become a republic.

“But that is not currently on the cards so she will remain as head of state for some time to follow.

The Countess of Wessex helps disabled sailor Alexzandrina Looby onto her boat during a visit to the National Sailing Academy (Joe Giddens/PA)

(PA Wire)

“We’re not trying to embarrass you, we’re just trying to build awareness.

“You may not necessarily comment on this issue as you represent an institution that doesn’t comment on contentious issues.

“Our civilisation should understand the atrocities that took place during colonialism and slavery and the fact that we have to bring balance by having open discussions.

“We believe in constructive engagement so you’ll notice there weren’t any placards because for us it’s about having open and objective discussions.

“We understand that nature of your job is not to get involved in contentious issues but at the same time it’s important for you to understand these issues.

“You can even use your, let’s say, diplomatic influence to build bridges in achieving the reparatory justice that we seek here in the Caribbean.

“Because the reality is we have been left and bereft of important institutions such as universities and good medicinal facilities.”

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