<p>Kate Middleton offers display of support to Ukraine on Commonwealth Day</p>

Kate Middleton offers display of support to Ukraine on Commonwealth Day

William and Kate cancel Platinum Jubilee visit to Belize farm after local protests

Residents of the village reportedly in dispute with a conservation charity of which the Duke is a patron

Kate Ng
Saturday 19 March 2022 16:44
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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have cancelled a major visit that was set to be part of their Caribbean tour in honour of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

The Akte ‘il Ha cacao farm in Indian Creek village, in the foothills of the Maya Mountains, was due to be Prince William and Kate Middleton’s first destination on their eight-day tour to Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas.

But local residents in the village staged a protest on Friday opposing the royal visit, according to reports, and the tour was removed from the royal couple’s schedule by their office.

A number of issues have been reported by local Belize media outlet Channel Seven, including a claimed dispute between residents of Indian Creek village in Belize’s Toledo District and Flora and Fauna International, the conservation charity William supports as a patron.

The landing site for the Cambridges’ helicopter reportedly caused further problems with claims residents were not consulted about the location which is on the local football pitch.

The news channel reported on its website that the village has been “in open conflict” with Flora and Fauna International over “an adjoining, contested property”.

William became a patron of the conservation charity in 2020, succeeding his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, who had held the position for almost 70 years.

But the report by Channel Seven concluded that the villagers “don’t want the Prince in their village”.

Sebastian Shol, chairman of Indian Creek village, told the Daily Mail: “We don’t want them to land on our land, that’s the message that we want to send. They could land anywhere but not on our land.”

A spokesperson for Kensington Palace said: “We can confirm that due to sensitive issues involving the community in Indian Creek, the visit has been moved to a different location – further details will be provided in due course.”

The Belize government said in a statement that the village was “one of several sites being considered”, adding that, a contingency plan has been activated to select another venue to “showcase Maya family entrepreneurship in the cacao industry”.

Channel Seven said the background to the situation centred on tensions between citizens and the state about the “meaning of consent in the context of communal land rights – rights to lands that were expunged in the colonial period by the British”.

William and Kate ‘s tour, which began on Saturday 19 March and will end on 26 March, will be carried out in Voyager, the ministerial jet.

Their entourage will include 15 people, including Kate’s hair dresser Amanda Cook Tucker and other personal staff, as well as private secretaries and press office team.

The duke and duchess are due to arrive in Belize in the afternoon, local time, and will be welcomed at the airport by the country’s Governor General Froyla Tzalam and later travel to the centre of Belize City for an official meeting with prime minister Johnny Briceno.

The couple will also take to the waters for a sailing regatta in the Bahamas, and in Jamaica, are set to celebrate the island’s musical and sporting heritage.

Additional reporting by PA

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