PRINCE William and Duchess of Cambridge Kate visited Bob Marley’s home and met with famous Jamaican athletes as they arrived in the country amid calls for the monarchy to pay compensation for its role in slavery.
On the fourth day of a royal tour of the Caribbean, William and Kate tried out a two-person bobsled under the watchful eye of Jamaican’s newest Cool Runnings team before the duke met one of his football heroes.
Mass hysteria erupted in a section of Kingston when the royal couple were surrounded by a crowd chanting “We love you, we love you” as they walked towards the Trench Cultural Court and Museum in the Jamaican capital.
During a visit to the old Kingston neighborhood of Trenchtown, home of music legend Marley, William climbed into a practice sled followed by Kate without the slightest hesitation.
Chatting with the women and men of the bobsleigh team, they talked about the hit movie “Cool Runs,” which immortalized the Jamaican team at the 1988 Winter Olympics.
The Duke, who is traveling the Caribbean with the Duchess to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, said: “One of our favorites, oh so good.”
The future king also played one of his sporting heroes, England and Manchester City striker Raheem Sterling against local youths.
The Cambridges arrived in Jamaica for a highly publicized demonstration calling on the monarchy to pay reparations for its role in slavery on the island.
Earlier, protesters had gathered outside the British embassy in Kingston with banners and accused the monarchy of profiting from the “blood, tears and sweat” of slaves.
Anti-colonial sentiment has been on the rise in the Caribbean amid the Black Lives Matter movement in recent years, with Jamaican politicians calling for the queen’s removal as head of state and the formal recognition of slavery.
A royal source said the Duke was aware of the protests and should have acknowledged the slavery issue in a speech Wednesday night during a dinner hosted by the Governor General of Jamaica.
In contrast to the angry scenes outside the embassy, there were shouts of delight during the visit of the royals to Trenchtown as the duke tried to keep up with the Kingston native Sterling.
The crowd erupted in rapturous applause every time the football star touched the ball and let out the duke’s cries, some of which were ironic, when he missed the goal.
Dozens of locals stood behind the wire fence watching the sporting spectacle unfold, while others sat on rooftops to get a better view.
The footballer, who has been given special permission by England manager Gareth Southgate, to travel to Jamaica ahead of the national team at the weekend, and the Royals are joined on the pitch by Jamaican Leon Bailey, a member of William’s favorite Aston Villa team.
The England striker, surrounded by spectators, said of his Southgate: “He told me it was a great opportunity and an experience that will stay with you forever.”
He was there as part of his efforts to improve social mobility for youth. His Raheem Sterling Foundation has developed plans to work with partners in Jamaica, Manchester and London to help disadvantaged young people lift themselves out of poverty.
When William, president of the Football Association, was first invited to meet Sterling and Bailey, he turned to Kate and said, “My two heroes.
These two are the fastest on the team.”
Later, William and Kate went to the home of reggae legend Bob Marley, which is now a museum, and played drums with several reggae musicians in the courtyard where Jamaica’s biggest superstar was learning to perform.
Mass hysteria reigned in the area as the royal couple were surrounded by crowds chanting “We love you, we love you” as they walked towards the Trench Town Cultural Court and Museum in the Jamaican capital.
The visit to Marley’s former home and the short match were intended to celebrate the singer’s two passions.
Marley, who died in 1981 of skin cancer at the age of 36, was a keen amateur footballer who played regularly at Battersea Park while living in London. He supported Tottenham and the Brazilian team Santos.
The royal couple were welcomed to Trench Town by Babsy Grange, Minister for Culture, Women, Entertainment and Sports, and Mark Golding, Leader of the Opposition and Member of Parliament for the area.
Inside the museum, Sophie Dow, one of the attraction’s directors, showed them the courtyard dwellings where Marley and his friends learned to play music.
William said, “So much musical history has been made here.”
He and Kate entered the room where Marley wrote one of his most famous songs. They were also shown the singer’s modest bedroom with a stool and a single bed next to a mural on the wall.
Before leaving, the couple went into a nearby courtyard, where a group of reggae musicians sang Rastafarian Nyabinghi chants, accompanied by drummers.
Keith was quickly persuaded to try drumming, but William proved more persuasive before joining a royal jam session with singers and other drummers.