Raheem Sterling accepts royal invite to Jamaica event ahead of England link-up

Raheem Sterling accepted a personal invite from the Duke of Cambridge. Credit: PA

Raheem Sterling will link up with the England squad on Wednesday, having accepted a personal invite from the Duke of Cambridge to attend an event in Jamaica. The Manchester City forward, who was born in Kingston, was one of four players called up by Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate for the upcoming Wembley friendlies against Switzerland and Ivory Coast.

The fixtures come as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are set to arrive in Jamaica - which marks its 60th independence anniversary later this year - for the next leg of their Caribbean tour on Tuesday.

The royal tour is widely seen as a charm offensive to try and dissuade Caribbean nations from following in Barbados' example of removing the Queen as their head of state.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attending the Festival of Garifuna Culture in Hopkins, a small village in Belize. Credit: PA

But the tour has already been overshadowed by protests, with the Royals cancelling a major visit to a Belize village at the start of the trip on Sunday, following opposition from local residents.

According to reports, a protest was staged on Friday opposing the royal visit to Akte ‘il Ha cacao farm in Indian Creek village in the foothills of the Maya Mountains.

Attention has now turned to Jamaica, where further opposition is predicted, as a coalition of politicians, business leaders, doctors and musicians have called in an open letter for the British monarchy to pay slavery reparations.

“We see no reason to celebrate 70 years of the ascension of your grandmother to the British throne because her leadership, and that of her predecessors, has perpetuated the greatest human rights tragedy in the history of humankind," the letter states.

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During the height of the slave trade in the 17th and 18th centuries, the island of Jamaica was key to the Spanish and then British involvement in the transport of slaves from Africa to toil away in plantations across the Caribbean.

The National Library of Jamaica estimates around 600,000 African slaves were shipped to the island.

Despite the growing tensions over Britain's colonial past and its enduring legacy, Kate and William are scheduled to visit Trench Town, the Kingston neighbourhood where reggae great Bob Marley grew up.

They are expected to stay in Jamaica until Thursday when they will depart for the Bahamas.