Kate and William’s Caribbean tour is hit by claims of ‘tone deaf PR

William and Kate’s tour of the Caribbean yesterday faced criticism from royal observers over claims of a series of ‘tone deaf’ PR moments that smacked of ‘colonialism’.

Led by the BBC’s royal correspondent Jonny Dymond, the row was jumped upon by Harry and Meghan’s cheerleader-in-chief Omid Scobie to rabble-rouse on social media.

In a piece focused on what he described as ‘defeat plucked from the jaws of victory’ given the warm reception they received on the ground, Mr Dymond highlighted the duke and duchess’s visit to Trench Town in Kingston, Jamaica, where they were welcomed by thousands of cheering well-wishers.

However the abiding image of the engagement – as far as social media is concerned, although not on the ground – is that of William and Kate poking their fingers through the links of a metal fence along a football field to greet locals on the other side.

William and Kate have been criticized over this image which saw the royal couple meet young people who were behind a chain link fence in Kingston, Jamaica

At a traditional Bahamian Junkanoo - or street parade - in Nassau Kate was particularly taken by one performer, five-year-old Cattleya Green, who along with her sister, Tatiana, eight, had dressed in colorful home-made costumes to resemble traditional Bahamian straw dolls

At a traditional Bahamian Junkanoo – or street parade – in Nassau Kate was particularly taken by one performer, five-year-old Cattleya Green, who along with her sister, Tatiana, eight, had dressed in colorful home-made costumes to resemble traditional Bahamian straw dolls

While England footballer Raheem Sterling did exactly the same thing, the Cambridges have been accused of ‘white-savior parody’.

The BBC correspondent wrote in his online piece: ‘Palace staff must be wondering how the defining image of the Cambridges’ trip to the Caribbean was not the explosion of joy and pleasure that greeted the couple in downtown Kingston.

‘But instead, what looked to many as some sort of white-savior parody, with Kate and William fleetingly making contact with the outstretched fingers of Jamaican children, pushing through a wire fence.

‘It was a bad misstep for a couple who are surprisingly media-savvy.’

Mr Scobie, co-author of Harry and Meghan’s biography, Finding Freedom, took to Twitter to jibe: ‘This tour was an opportunity to try to show the monarchy can modernise – hold themselves accountable where appropriate, be eager to listen and learn, mindful , open to change.

‘Instead, even the media royalists are writing how out of touch parts of the trip have come across.’

The Daily Mail’s own Jan Moir yesterday labeled the tour ‘a disaster’ that left her ‘dying of embarrassment … for our country, for the Cambridges.’

‘What this week showed is that the days of the big royal overseas visit are surely numbered,’ she wrote. ‘The very idea that the Royal Family should sally forth, in all their finery and jewels, to far-away lands to meet people they expect to bow and curtsey to them, or pay homage at the very least, is an increasing absurdity.’

One of the harshest critics of the tour was Omid Scobie, co-author of Harry and Meghan's biography, Finding Freedom, took to Twitter to jibe: 'This tour was an opportunity to try to show the monarchy can modernise - hold themselves accountable where appropriate , be eager to listen and learn, mindful, open to change '

One of the harshest critics of the tour was Omid Scobie, co-author of Harry and Meghan’s biography, Finding Freedom, took to Twitter to jibe: ‘This tour was an opportunity to try to show the monarchy can modernise – hold themselves accountable where appropriate , be eager to listen and learn, mindful, open to change ‘

Mr Scobie was the co-author of Harry and Meghan's biography 'Finding Freedom

Mr Scobie was the co-author of Harry and Meghan’s biography ‘Finding Freedom

Mr Dymond also highlighted the Mail’s exclusive story about how the couple were forced to cancel the first engagement of their visit to Belize after being caught up in a row over indigenous land rights and anger that their helicopter was being allowed to land on a village football field .

The couple’s decision to drive out of a Jamaican military commissioning parade in the Queen’s 1960s open top Land Rover, intended as a ‘charming homage … just felt like a clunky reminder of a more deferential time,’ Mr Dymond added.

Yet in the Caribbean, much was well received, including William’s keynote speech in Jamaica when he went further than any other member of the Royal Family in airing his ‘sorrow’ at the ‘abhorrence’ of slavery.

The Mail understands William took time over his speech, revisiting his script just hours before he delivered it to think carefully about his choice of words.

‘He wanted to reflect what his father had previously said on the issue and add his own words from the heart,’ a source said.

He was also said to be ‘relaxed’ over the moment the prime minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness, told him and Kate in front of the cameras that he was determined to break ties with the Queen and for Jamaica to become a republic.

A source said: ‘The prime minister was elected on a platform of independence so it was no surprise. He was very warm and welcomed their visit. It was done respectfully. The duke was very relaxed. ‘

Praise has also been handed to the couple for their efforts to largely sidestep big set piece engagements in favor of smaller ones where they have been able to thank those whose efforts often go unrewarded, visiting hospitals, schools and charities.

Yesterday, in The Bahamas, they spent the day dodging downpours on the final stop of their tour.

At a traditional Bahamian Junkanoo – or street parade – in Nassau Kate was particularly taken by one performer, five-year-old Cattleya Green, who along with her sister, Tatiana, eight, had dressed in colorful home-made costumes to resemble traditional Bahamian straw dolls.

Kate hunkered down on her heels, paying no mind to her £ 350 pistachio-colored dress by Self Portrait with distinctive gold earrings by local designer Nadia Irena, to chat to the little girl.

Some of the crowds had been waiting for up to five hours to catch a glimpse of the couple.

Colette Gard, 47, from Nassau, said: ‘I love the fact that they are here. Kate is such a great princess, so glamorous and kind. William will be a great king. We love them in the Bahamas. ‘

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