Scobie: The royals are doing more harm than good with their royal tours

by Susan Ryant

Omid Scobie has written a new column for Yahoo News, in his new capacity as the Yahoo News’ Royal Editor. The piece is “Why tone-deaf royal tours have had their day” and Scobie has a lot to say about the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s sad Flop Tour of the Caribbean in March, and how badly the Earl and Countess of Wessex did during their Caribbean Tour a month later. Scobie’s not spilling any tea, really, he’s just providing analysis for why the model of royal tours is desperate for a revamp, because the old way of doing things just isn’t cutting it. Some highlights:

The Flop Tour: But as the Cambridges’ ill-fated tour of the Caribbean in March proved, these trips no longer do. Billed as a “charm offensive” to shore up support for the monarchy across the islands, the colonial throwbacks and poorly advised photo-ops ended up having the opposite effect on the Bahamas, Jamaica and Belize (who have all individually expressed the desire to become republics). Damage control began before the wheels of William and Kate’s plane had even hit the tarmac in the UK, with Kensington Palace aides eagerly briefing journalists that lessons have been learned and next time the itinerary will be more mindful.

The royals are the problem, not the tours: But while a revised line-up of engagements may help the somewhat tired formula of royal walkabouts, ceremonial welcomes and cultural events, it doesn’t solve the other problem affecting the monarchy on tour—the royals themselves.

The Wessexes’ sad Flop Tour: Any hope that Edward and Sophie (or at least their advisors) had learned from the Cambridges’ problematic Caribbean travels quickly went out of the window. Instead, the trip—once filled with potential to show that the firm could be empathetic and move with the times—became a series of pretty photographs as the couple smiled, waved, and danced their way across the islands. Their lasting impact being the framed portrait of themselves (a bizarre custom on royal visits) gifted to a seemingly unimpressed prime minister of Saint Lucia.

Why the royals don’t want to talk about slavery colonialism: For the royals to engage in conversation about the issue would be to also acknowledge that the family’s empire came to power and wealth, in part, by enslaving Africans and forcing them to work in colonies. It also means that the Windsor royals would need to acknowledge that their very existence is, also in part, the result of over 300 years of devastating atrocities led by some of their predecessors. But, as people across the world continue to learn about the importance of dismantling structural racism, it’s essential that these uncomfortable conversations are had by all.

Imagine if the royals were actually good at soft diplomacy: Imagine how different these tours would have looked if the two couples arrived proactively looking to meet with and learn from those leading demonstrations instead of ignoring them. Imagine the lasting impact it could have had, not just on each country but on his legacy as a king in the making, if Prince William had gone a step further than saying slavery “should never have happened” and actually expressed remorse for colonialism, slavery and the destruction of Black families.

More harm than good: The purpose of these visits, particularly in the Commonwealth, is often to strengthen relations between Britain and the host countries. But as more members of the realm announce plans to make like Barbados and divorce the crown (Saint Kitts and Nevis being the most recent to announce plans to “review its monarchical system of government”), it’s time for other travelling members of the family to realise they might be doing more harm to the royal establishment than good. And for palace officials, it’s time to accept that the royal tour as we know it is in dire need of a trip to the drawing board.

[From Yahoo News UK]

One of my favorite moments about the Cambridges’ Flop Tour was the feeling as they left the Bahamas that William and Kate were basically storming out of there in a rage, still huffy about how they had been received in Jamaica and Belize. That was front and center when William issued that angry statement through his staff, without the input of Clarence House or Buckingham Palace. I also loved how immediately the first thought from the palace was “well damn, we need to do fewer tours” as opposed to “we need to stop being so neo-colonialist.” The larger problem is that the Windsors find it so difficult to change. Most of them can’t, they’re incapable.

Photos courtesy of Instar.

North America Rights Only – Abaco, Bahamas -20220326- The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to Daystar Evangelical Church Abaco in The Bahamas, to learn about the impact of Hurricane Dorian in 2019 and to see how communities are still being rebuilt, on day eight of their tour of the Caribbean on behalf of the Queen to mark her Platinum Jubilee. Abaco, a chain of islands and barrier cays in the northern Bahamas, was hit by winds of up to 185mph during Hurricane Dorian in 2019 leaving 75% of homes across the chain of islands damaged and resulting in tragic loss of life. During a visit to Fish Fry in Abaco, a traditional Bahamian culinary/. During a visit to the Memorial Wall to remember victims of the 2019 hurricane at the Memorial Garden in Abaco. During a visit to Grand Bahama Children’s Home, which provides a home environment to vulnerable children who are not able to live with their families -PICTURED: Catherine Duchess of Cambridge -PHOTO by: INSTARimages.com Disclaimer: This is an editorial, rights-managed image. Please contact INSTAR Images for licensing fee and rights information at sales@instarimages.com or call +1 212 414 0207. This image may not be published in any way that is, or might be deemed to be, defamatory, libelous, pornographic, or obscene. Please consult our sales department for any clarification needed prior to publication and use. INSTAR Images reserves the right to pursue unauthorized users of this material. If you are in violation of our intellectual property rights or copyright you may be liable for damages, loss of income, any profits you derive from the unauthorized use of this material and, where appropriate, the cost of collection and/or any statutory damages awarded For images containing underage children: Be advised that some Countries may have restricted privacy laws against publishing images of underage children. Inform yourself! Underage children may need to be removed or have their face pixelated before publishi North America Rights Only – Abaco, Bahamas -20220326-The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to Daystar Evangelical Church Abaco in The Bahamas, to learn about the impact of Hurricane Dorian in 2019 and to see how communities are still being rebuilt, on day eight of their tour of the Caribbean on behalf of the Queen to mark her Platinum Jubilee. Abaco, a chain of islands and barrier cays in the northern Bahamas, was hit by winds of up to 185mph during Hurricane Dorian in 2019 leaving 75% of homes across the chain of islands damaged and resulting in tragic loss of life. During a visit to Fish Fry in Abaco, a traditional Bahamian culinary/.During a visit to the Memorial Wall to remember victims of the 2019 hurricane at the Memorial Garden in Abaco.During a visit to Grand Bahama Children’s Home, which provides a home environment to vulnerable children who are not able to live with their families-PICTURED: Prince William, Catherine Duchess of Cambridge-PHOTO by: INSTARimages.comDisclaimer:This is an editorial, rights-managed image. Please contact INSTAR Images for licensing fee and rights information at sales@instarimages.com or call +1 212 414 0207. This image may not be published in any way that is, or might be deemed to be, defamatory, libelous, pornographic, or obscene. Please consult our sales department for any clarification needed prior to publication and use. INSTAR Images reserves the right to pursue unauthorized users of this material. If you are in violation of our intellectual property rights or copyright you may be liable for damages, loss of income, any profits you derive from the unauthorized use of this material and, where appropriate, the cost of collection and/or any statutory damages awardedFor images containing underage children: Be advised that some Countries may have restricted privacy laws against publishing images of underage children. Inform yourself! Underage children may need to be removed or have their face pixelated North America Rights Only – Kingston, Jamaica -20220322-Prince William joins young footballers on the football pitch during a visit to Trenchtown as Catherine Duchess of Cmabridge watches on day four of their tour of the Caribbean on behalf of the Queen to mark her Platinum Jubilee.-PICTURED: Catherine Duchess of Cambridge-PHOTO by: Jane Barlow/PA Images/INSTARimages.comDisclaimer:This is an editorial, rights-managed image. Please contact INSTAR Images for licensing fee and rights information at sales@instarimages.com or call +1 212 414 0207. This image may not be published in any way that is, or might be deemed to be, defamatory, libelous, pornographic, or obscene. Please consult our sales department for any clarification needed prior to publication and use. INSTAR Images reserves the right to pursue unauthorized users of this material. If you are in violation of our intellectual property rights or copyright you may be liable for damages, loss of income, any profits you derive from the unauthorized use of this material and, where appropriate, the cost of collection and/or any statutory damages awardedFor images containing underage children: Be advised that some Countries may have restricted privacy laws against publishing images of underage children. Inform yourself! Underage children may need to be removed or have their face pixelated before publishing North America Rights Only – Caracol, Belize -20220321-The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge look out from the Caana at Caracol, an ancient Mayan archaeological site deep in the jungle in the Chiquibul Forest in Belize, during their tour of the Caribbean on behalf of the Queen to mark her Platinum Jubilee. -PICTURED: Prince William, Catherine Duchess of Cambridge-PHOTO by: INSTARimages.comDisclaimer:This is an editorial, rights-managed image. Please contact INSTAR Images for licensing fee and rights information at sales@instarimages.com or call +1 212 414 0207. This image may not be published in any way that is, or might be deemed to be, defamatory, libelous, pornographic, or obscene. Please consult our sales department for any clarification needed prior to publication and use. INSTAR Images reserves the right to pursue unauthorized users of this material. If you are in violation of our intellectual property rights or copyright you may be liable for damages, loss of income, any profits you derive from the unauthorized use of this material and, where appropriate, the cost of collection and/or any statutory damages awardedFor images containing underage children: Be advised that some Countries may have restricted privacy laws against publishing images of underage children. Inform yourself! Underage children may need to be removed or have their face pixelated before publishing North America Rights Only – Kingston, Jamaica -20220322- Prince William and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge meet locals during a visit Trench Town, the birthplace of reggae in Kingston, Jamaica, on day four of their tour of the Caribbean on behalf of the Queen to mark her Platinum Jubilee. -PICTURED: Prince William and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge -PHOTO by: Chris Jackson/PA Images/INSTARimages.com Disclaimer: This is an editorial, rights-managed image. Please contact INSTAR Images for licensing fee and rights information at sales@instarimages.com or call +1 212 414 0207. This image may not be published in any way that is, or might be deemed to be, defamatory, libelous, pornographic, or obscene. Please consult our sales department for any clarification needed prior to publication and use. INSTAR Images reserves the right to pursue unauthorized users of this material. If you are in violation of our intellectual property rights or copyright you may be liable for damages, loss of income, any profits you derive from the unauthorized use of this material and, where appropriate, the cost of collection and/or any statutory damages awarded For images containing underage children: Be advised that some Countries may have restricted privacy laws against publishing images of underage children. Inform yourself! Underage children may need to be removed or have their face pixelated before publishing North America Rights Only – Kingston, Jamaica -20220322- Prince William and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge meet locals during a visit Trench Town, the birthplace of reggae in Kingston, Jamaica, on day four of their tour of the Caribbean on behalf of the Queen to mark her Platinum Jubilee. -PICTURED: Catherine Duchess of Cambridge -PHOTO by: Chris Jackson/PA Images/INSTARimages.com Disclaimer: This is an editorial, rights-managed image. Please contact INSTAR Images for licensing fee and rights information at sales@instarimages.com or call +1 212 414 0207. This image may not be published in any way that is, or might be deemed to be, defamatory, libelous, pornographic, or obscene. Please consult our sales department for any clarification needed prior to publication and use. INSTAR Images reserves the right to pursue unauthorized users of this material. If you are in violation of our intellectual property rights or copyright you may be liable for damages, loss of income, any profits you derive from the unauthorized use of this material and, where appropriate, the cost of collection and/or any statutory damages awarded For images containing underage children: Be advised that some Countries may have restricted privacy laws against publishing images of underage children. Inform yourself! Underage children may need to be removed or have their face pixelated before publishing North America Rights Only – Kingston, Jamaica -20220324-Royal Visit to the Caribbean – Day 6Prince William and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge attend the inaugural Commissioning Parade for service personnel from across the Caribbean who have recently completed the Caribbean Military Academy’s Officer Training Program, in Kingston, Jamaica, on day six of their tour of the Caribbean on behalf of the Queen to mark her Platinum Jubilee. -PICTURED: Prince William and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge-PHOTO by: Jane Barlow/PA Images/INSTARimages.comDisclaimer:This is an editorial, rights-managed image. Please contact INSTAR Images for licensing fee and rights information at sales@instarimages.com or call +1 212 414 0207. This image may not be published in any way that is, or might be deemed to be, defamatory, libelous, pornographic, or obscene. 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Underage children may need to be removed or have their face pixelated before publishing North America Rights Only – Kingston, Jamaica -20220324-Royal Visit to the Caribbean – Day 6 Prince William and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge attend the inaugural Commissioning Parade for service personnel from across the Caribbean who have recently completed the Caribbean Military Academy’s Officer Training Program, in Kingston, Jamaica, on day six of their tour of the Caribbean on behalf of the Queen to mark her Platinum Jubilee. -PICTURED: Prince William and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge -PHOTO by: Jane Barlow/PA Images/INSTARimages.com Disclaimer: This is an editorial, rights-managed image. Please contact INSTAR Images for licensing fee and rights information at sales@instarimages.com or call +1 212 414 0207. This image may not be published in any way that is, or might be deemed to be, defamatory, libelous, pornographic, or obscene. 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Underage children may need to be removed or have their face pixelated before publishing North America Rights Only – Kingston, Jamaica -20220324-Royal Visit to the Caribbean – Day 6Prince William and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge attend the inaugural Commissioning Parade for service personnel from across the Caribbean who have recently completed the Caribbean Military Academy’s Officer Training Program, in Kingston, Jamaica, on day six of their tour of the Caribbean on behalf of the Queen to mark her Platinum Jubilee. -PICTURED: Prince William-PHOTO by: Jane Barlow/PA Images/INSTARimages.comDisclaimer:This is an editorial, rights-managed image. Please contact INSTAR Images for licensing fee and rights information at sales@instarimages.com or call +1 212 414 0207. This image may not be published in any way that is, or might be deemed to be, defamatory, libelous, pornographic, or obscene. Please consult our sales department for any clarification needed prior to publication and use. INSTAR Images reserves the right to pursue unauthorized users of this material. If you are in violation of our intellectual property rights or copyright you may be liable for damages, loss of income, any profits you derive from the unauthorized use of this material and, where appropriate, the cost of collection and/or any statutory damages awardedFor images containing underage children: Be advised that some Countries may have restricted privacy laws against publishing images of underage children. Inform yourself! Underage children may need to be removed or have their face pixelated before publishing North America Rights Only – Kingston, Jamaica -20220324-Royal Visit to the Caribbean – Day 6Prince William and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge attend the inaugural Commissioning Parade for service personnel from across the Caribbean who have recently completed the Caribbean Military Academy’s Officer Training Program, in Kingston, Jamaica, on day six of their tour of the Caribbean on behalf of the Queen to mark her Platinum Jubilee. -PICTURED: Catherine Duchess of Cambridge-PHOTO by: Jane Barlow/PA Images/INSTARimages.comDisclaimer:This is an editorial, rights-managed image. Please contact INSTAR Images for licensing fee and rights information at sales@instarimages.com or call +1 212 414 0207. This image may not be published in any way that is, or might be deemed to be, defamatory, libelous, pornographic, or obscene. 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Underage children may need to be removed or have their face pixelated before publishing North America Rights Only – Abaco, Bahamas -20220326- The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to Daystar Evangelical Church Abaco in The Bahamas, to learn about the impact of Hurricane Dorian in 2019 and to see how communities are still being rebuilt, on day eight of their tour of the Caribbean on behalf of the Queen to mark her Platinum Jubilee. Abaco, a chain of islands and barrier cays in the northern Bahamas, was hit by winds of up to 185mph during Hurricane Dorian in 2019 leaving 75% of homes across the chain of islands damaged and resulting in tragic loss of life. During a visit to Fish Fry in Abaco, a traditional Bahamian culinary/. During a visit to the Memorial Wall to remember victims of the 2019 hurricane at the Memorial Garden in Abaco. During a visit to Grand Bahama Children’s Home, which provides a home environment to vulnerable children who are not able to live with their families -PICTURED: Prince William, Catherine Duchess of Cambridge -PHOTO by: INSTARimages.com Disclaimer: This is an editorial, rights-managed image. Please contact INSTAR Images for licensing fee and rights information at sales@instarimages.com or call +1 212 414 0207. This image may not be published in any way that is, or might be deemed to be, defamatory, libelous, pornographic, or obscene. Please consult our sales department for any clarification needed prior to publication and use. INSTAR Images reserves the right to pursue unauthorized users of this material. If you are in violation of our intellectual property rights or copyright you may be liable for damages, loss of income, any profits you derive from the unauthorized use of this material and, where appropriate, the cost of collection and/or any statutory damages awarded For images containing underage children: Be advised that some Countries may have restricted privacy laws against publishing images of underage children. Inform yourself! Underage children may need to be removed or have their face pixelated North America Rights Only – San Ignacio, Belize -20220321-At a special reception at the Mayan ruins at Cahal Pech in San Ignacio, Belize, hosted by Froyla Tzalam, the Governor General of Belize, in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, during day three of their tour of the Caribbean.-PICTURED: Prince William-PHOTO by: INSTARimages.comDisclaimer:This is an editorial, rights-managed image. Please contact INSTAR Images for licensing fee and rights information at sales@instarimages.com or call +1 212 414 0207. This image may not be published in any way that is, or might be deemed to be, defamatory, libelous, pornographic, or obscene. Please consult our sales department for any clarification needed prior to publication and use. INSTAR Images reserves the right to pursue unauthorized users of this material. If you are in violation of our intellectual property rights or copyright you may be liable for damages, loss of income, any profits you derive from the unauthorized use of this material and, where appropriate, the cost of collection and/or any statutory damages awardedFor images containing underage children: Be advised that some Countries may have restricted privacy laws against publishing images of underage children. Inform yourself! Underage children may need to be removed or have their face pixelated before publishing