The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].

prince-harry
Prince Harry in military dress.

The planned visit of Prince Harry, Queen Elizabeth II’s grandson and fifth in line to the throne, should be a welcomed by all of us given all the free publicity it will receive around the world, something our troubled tourism sector badly needs.

Equally important, like it or not, we are still a member of the Commonwealth of Nations with a parliamentary democracy based on a British-derived Constitution in which the Queen is Head of State. Indeed, a large majority of our people legitimately renounced the efforts of the present political regime to impose a new Constitution in 2009 which would have abolished the monarchy and removed the Queen as our symbolic sovereign.

What the people clearly proclaimed on November 25 of that year is: “God Save the Queen!”

That Mikail Yusuf Muhammad would renounce this official visit by a royal representative of our sovereign is as deeply troubling as it is ironic for it manifests the same “lack of knowledge of self” that he decries.

Who are we if not a hybrid, rainbow, and otherwise varied people? Aboriginal, black, white, mixed, East Indian, Portuguese, Syrian, rich, poor … the list goes on and on. Some of us are the mixed descendants of the indigenous inhabitants, most of us are the direct or mixed descendants of slaves forcibly brought here to toil from dawn to dusk under the hot tropical sun; others came to replace these slaves after their bondage mercifully ended in 1838; and still others have only come here recently to escape even worse social and economic conditions in other lands.

But as citizens of SVG, we share one fundamental unifying feature: we are all heirs to our arguably troubled history, carriers of our many traditions, including our connection to a monarchy that goes back to the 10th century, and protectors of our Constitution.

To belittle this unifying feature by claiming that Prince Harry’s visit is a manifestation of our self-hatred and a repudiation of the sins of his and our fathers, is rubbish. To be sure, too many of us — including, it seems, Mr. Muhammad — hate too many other people. But how many of us truly hate our skin colour, ethnicity, nationality, and heritage? How many of us are ashamed to have Queen Elizabeth as our figurative ruler, a status that unites us with millions of people all across the globe?

And how many of us actually believe that:

“Henry Charles Albert David, who goes by the title of Prince Harry, has done absolutely NOTHING with his life that warrants any sort of sympathy, admiration or even mere respectful consideration on our part.”

The facts say this is rubbish:

“Prince Harry began his military career as an Officer Cadet at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in May 2005 …. He went on to serve with the British Armed Forces for ten years, where he undertook two operational tours of Afghanistan, the first between 2007 and 2008 as a Forward Air Controller. Shortly after returning to the UK Prince Harry was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant with The Household Cavalry. At the end of 2012, he undertook his second tour of duty to Afghanistan, this time as an Apache Pilot, returning at the beginning of 2013. In July 2013, he qualified as Apache Aircraft Commander.

In early 2014 Prince Harry completed his attachment to the Army Air Corps and transferred to a Staff Officer role in HQ London District, where he helped organise the inaugural Invictus Games in London — an international adaptive sporting event for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women. 

In March 2015, Kensington Palace announced that after a fulfilling military career, Prince Harry would leave the Armed Forces holding the rank of Captain.  As he left operational service in June 2015, Prince Harry said: ‘The experiences I have had over the last 10 years will stay with me for the rest of my life. For that I will always be hugely grateful.’

Prince Harry remains closely connected to the Armed Forces, volunteering with the Personnel Recovery Unit in London District to help improve the welfare of wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women” (http://www.princehenryofwales.org).

So which Harry does Mikail Yusuf Muhammad actually resent. The Harry who is the grandson of our Queen? Or the Harry who fought against his jihadist co-religionists in Afgjhanistan?

The Prince has also been quite active since leaving the Armed Forces:

“Prince Harry combines a programme of charitable activity alongside his public service in support of The Queen, undertaking official engagements in the UK and overseas.

He is Patron of a number of organisations and spends the majority of his charitable work focusing on the welfare of servicemen and women, championing developmental opportunities for hard to reach children and African conservation. 

He co-founded the charity Sentebale with Prince Seeiso of Lesotho in memory of their mothers (Sentebale means ‘Forget me not’) to support orphans and vulnerable children in Lesotho.”

Finally, Mr. Muhammad ought to know that our so-called national hero “Joseph Chatoyer fought and DIED, along with so many of our ancestors, [not] to keep the British OUT of here” but to bring the French back in to rule over and continue exploiting our slave ancestors.

C. ben-David

The irony of Prince Harry’s planned visit to SVG

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].