Huge crowds greet William and Kate following slavery protests as royals arrive in Jamaica

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were greeted by huge crowds on their first day in Jamaica. Credit: PA

Despite some protests ahead of their arrival, there was a huge crowd waiting for William and Kate at their first public engagement in Jamaica.

They were in the Trench Town suburb of the capital Kingston, where Bob Marley once lived and wrote his most famous song, No Woman No Cry.

Hundreds of people were in the street as the Duke and Duchess’ convoy pulled up, and many dozens of others climbed walls and hung on fences – in what were the biggest crowds of this royal tour so far.

Earlier there had been a sizeable protest outside the British High Commission in the capital, demanding an apology from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for Britain’s role in the slave trade.

The protestors are stepping up their fight for reparations from the former colonial master to compensate Jamaica for riches Britain earned from the trade in hundreds of thousands of slaves from West Africa.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge greet crowds during a visit Trench Town. Credit: PA Images

William and Kate arrived in this country from Belize mid-way through their royal tour on behalf of the Queen to mark her Platinum Jubilee.

But this year also marks the 60th anniversary of Jamaica’s independence from Britain which has sparked a renewed debate about becoming a republic – and removing the Queen as Head of State – as Barbados did last year.

William and Kate with local footballers in Trench Town Credit: PA Images

And yet, in Trench Town big crowds watched and cheered as William took part in a football match with Raheem Sterling, who had been given special permission by England manager Gareth Southgate to attend this event with the royals.

Sterling was born here and his Raheem Sterling Foundation is working in Jamaica, Manchester and London to give disadvantaged youngsters opportunities to break out of poverty.

The Duchess of Cambridge speaks to Raheem Sterling during a visit to during a visit Trench Town Credit: PA Images

William wore a Number 10 yellow vest and played alongside the England striker.

The prince set Sterling up to score the only goal of the short match, despite forgetting to bring any trainers to wear.

Aston Villa and Jamaica winger Leon Bailey was also there and William said to Kate when they all met that they are "two heroes of mine".

Asked about the protests on the Monarchy which have been staged in his home country, Sterling told ITV News: "Like in life you can’t always have everyone saying what you want."

What's behind the royal protests in Jamaica? Watch our explainer:

William and Kate also climbed into a bobsleigh with Jamaica’s famous national bobsleigh team and chatted about travelling in it at speed of up to 95 miles per hour.

Some of those in the crowds we spoke to said the royals were very welcome in Jamaica but that they should still issue an apology for the wrongs of Britain’s past.

The Duke of Cambridge jumped into a bobsleigh during the visit Credit: PA Images

Others said the focus should be on the future, not on what happened many hundreds of years ago, however wrong that was.

Opposite the football pitch, in Bob Marley’s old home, William and Kate ended up playing drums.

This house, which is now a museum, was where Jamaica’s reggae star learned to perform.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge played drums with reggae musicians Credit: PA Images
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during their visit to the Trench Town Culture Yard Museum where Bob Marley used to live. Credit: PA Images

We are told that Prince William is very aware of the wider debate raging in Jamaica about Britain’s past and whether his grandmother should remain Queen of Jamaica.

He will make a speech on Wednesday night in Kingston and address some of those issues then.

Listen to our Royal podcast: The Royal Rota: