ROYAL – Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were branded ‘insensitive’ today after posing with Jamaica’s Prime Minister who wants to ditch the monarchy – just as King Charles III prepares for prostate treatment and Kate recovers in hospital from abdominal surgery.
The Pose with Andrew Holiness Stirs Reactions
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were pictured with Andrew Holness on the red carpet after they flew from their £11million home in California to Kingston for the glitzy premiere of the new Bob Marley film One Love last night.
The couple were snapped mingling with star guests, enjoying a moment of PDA in front of others and also cosying up to Marlene Malahoo Forte, the minister for legal and constitutional affairs, who said last year that Jamaica could soon ‘sever ties’ with the monarchy, and the nation’s future should be ‘in Jamaican hands’.
Bone of Contention
The surprise appearance by the Duke and Duchess at the showbiz bash also raised eyebrows after the double royal health scare back in the UK, as Harry’s sister-in-law Kate Middleton recovers in hospital after abdominal surgery nearly 5,000 miles away in London while his father the King was preparing was preparing for a prostate procedure.
Mr Holness, who is pushing ahead for plans for Jamaica to become a republic with a referendum set to be held later this year, has previously admitted that the Caribbean island wanted to cut ties with Britain after Queen Elizabeth II died.
They Smile Differently
Sussex cheerleader Omid Scobie pointed out that Harry and Meghan’s smiles with Jamaica’s PM were ‘a different vibe to the last time we saw PM Andrew Holness with members of the Royal Family ‘ – referring to when he told Prince William and Kate in March 2022 that he intended to get rid of the monarchy.
Ms Forte later tweeted a photo of them, prompting an X user to say: ‘Even more hilarious: the person with them here is the minister in charge of changing the constitution and making us a republic.’ Ms Forte replied, saying: ‘This is #OneLove!’
Reactions From Commenters
With other observers still waiting for a statement from the Sussexes about Charles and Kate being in hospital, royal commentator Phil Dampier said: ‘It seems Harry and Meghan will turn up at the opening of an envelope these days.
‘Under normal circumstances there would be nothing wrong with them going to a film premiere. But at a time when his father is going under the knife and Jamaica is making noises about ditching the monarchy, this is rather insensitive.
‘The royals have of course always said it’s up to individual countries to decide whether to become republics. But I always thought it was very sad that Barbados got rid of the Queen near the end of her life without a referendum.
‘Jamaica will have a referendum but it’s almost certain they will go their own way eventually.’
Mr Dampier added that Harry has ‘happy memories’ of Jamaica, including when he famously ‘won’ a run against Usain Bolt during a visit in 2012.
However, he continued: ‘Clearly the couple felt at home. But it’s sending out a message that they support that country when they haven’t found the time to make a public show of support for the King and the Princess of Wales.
‘They may have done so in private, but they are certainly not going out of their way to say they want a reconciliation and this appearance emphasises yet again the different world they now live in.’
Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams added: ‘Harry and Meghan’s appearance in Kingston at the premiere of the Bob Marley: One Love film was a surprise.
They are well aware that the Caribbean tour William and Catherine went on which included Jamaica in March 2022 was considered highly problematic.