On the climax of Kate Middleton and Prince William‘s visit to Jamaica as part of Queen Elizabeth II’s platinum jubilee, the British royals dipped into the past. Prince William, 39, and Kate, 40, attended a special military parade for service members who recently completed the Caribbean Military Academy’s Officer Training Program. Prince William and Kate dressed in white for the occasion, with the Duke of Cambridge donning his formal military uniform. Together, they stood on the back of a dark green open-top Land Rover – the spitting image of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip when they visited Kingston, Jamaica, in November 1953.
Kate’s glamorous outfit was a white lace Alexander McQueen dress and Philip Treacy hat (h/t PEOPLE). William’s uniform was that of the Blues and Royals, the second-most senior regiment of the British Army. The thin white Duke commanded the attention of the young officers to deliver a quick but effective speech. “Congratulations to everyone on parade today,” said William, per PEOPLE. “I have stood to attention myself on many parades as you do now, proud of my accomplishments, yet also hoping that the Reviewing Officer keeps the speech short.”
“As Catherine and I visit Jamaica in celebration of The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, I thought I might quote my grandmother on the subject,” he added. “In an address to the United Nations General Assembly in 2010, she said: ‘I know of no single formula for success, but over the years I have observed that some attributes of leadership are universal, and are often about finding ways of encouraging people to combine their efforts, their talents, their insights, their enthusiasm, and their inspiration, to work together.’ I think that’s a very good model to follow.”
The night before this visit, Prince William addressed the growing demand for reparations with a speech at a dinner held by Jamaica’s Governor General. The royal couple’s visit has been marked by protests from Jamaicans who want Britain to apologize for its role in the Transatlantic slave trade and offer restitution for the damage done to the country.
“I strongly agree with my father, [Prince Charles] the Prince of Wales, who said in Barbados last year that the appalling atrocity of slavery forever stains our history,” said William, per CNN. “I want to express my profound sorrow. Slavery was abhorrent, and it should never have happened.”
Britain seized Jamaica in 1655 and ruled over it until the country gained its independence in 1962. However, it has remained a British Commonwealth with the Queen at the head of state. The majority of Jamaicans are of African ancestry, and the descendants of slaves brought to the country by European imperialists. As Jamaica prepares to mark sixty years of independence, there is a growing movement to become a republic and remove Queen Elizabeth II as head of state.