Prince Harry’s visit to the Caribbean has sparked an anti-colonial social media campaign titled Not My Prince which has seen the hashtag #NotMyPrince gain increasing attention on Twitter.
The 32-year-old Prince has just started a two-week tour of the West Indies after the Queen requested he visit the countries on her behalf. Over the next fortnight, Prince Harry will visit six countries where the Queen is head of state - Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, St Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines - and the Commonwealth country of Guyana.
While he was greeted in Antigua by honour guards at the airport on Sunday, critics of the monarchy are rather less pleased about his visit.
The Not My President campaign has utilised the hashtag #NotMyPrince in a nod to the Not My President campaign against Donald Trump in America. The campaign defines itself as an “anti-colonial welcoming committee for Prince Harry” which wants to “resist colonisation of the mind”.
“Prince Harry brings the combined mystique of whiteness, celebrity, power and wealth; in return he is greeted with the usual pomp and circumstance. He will be feted with military parades and cultural performances,” a post on the campaign’s Tumblr read.
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The campaign questioned why military displays were performed to please the Prince in the 21st century.
Critics of the monarch rebuked Prince Harry’s visit on Twitter. “Kissing arse of historically repugnant #RoyalFamily just because of birthright reeks of paternalism #NotMyPrince,” said one.
“P*ss taking royal scroungers need a lesson as others struggle to pay for bread,” added another.
Critics in England joined in with the campaign, with one writing: “@BBCNews or “holiday”, as most would call it. Paid for by the taxpayer. Again. #notmyprince”.
Others were more protective of him: "#Notmyprince is a bit overblown. He's actually a good bloke and hardly responsible for colonialism or slavery. #Giveharryabreak".
Somewhat ironically, the primary reason for the visit is to mark the 35th Anniversary of Independence in Antigua and Barbuda and the 50th Anniversary of Independence in Guyana and Barbados. Prince Harry is due to meet Barbados-born singer Rihanna who is headlining a concert marking Barbados' independence anniversary.
Barbados is one of the most vocally Republican of all the Caribbean countries and last year its Prime Minister Freundel Stuart announced the island would replace the Queen as head of state with a president. The change was previously expected to coincide with this year's anniversary celebrations on November 30 but the proposal has been postponed.
A representative for Prince Harry told The Independent the Prince had received a very warm welcome in Antigua. "Prince Harry is in Antigua on behalf of The Queen at the Antiguan government's request and received an incredibly warm welcome yesterday," they said.
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