he Duchess of Cambridge forced her husband off the road – in the name of testing his driving skills on a simulator.
Kate was in fits of laughter as she created extreme weather, pot-holes and manipulated lighting levels as William drove a truck used to train young men in Jamaica.
The couple were visiting the Caribbean Military Technical Training Institute near Montego Bay and for the second day their presence in Jamaica prompted protests, with around a dozen members of Jamaica’s Rastafarian community demanding reparations from the Royal Family.
Automotive student Oneil Haughton joined the duchess as she sat at a computer screen a few feet from duke creating hazards for him to deal with.
He said: “She was excited, she was changing his experiences of the weather, changing the time of day – she was enjoying it. She could make it slippery, she could do anything and she loved it, she said it was really good.”
The institute is home to a programme for young men needing direction in their lives who are taught to drive heavy goods vehicles or repair cars as way of giving them a focus.
Staff Sergeant Dave Morgan who was overseeing William’s driving said: “He did well, he was trying and found the gears and dealt with the critical weather.
“The duchess set up some strong cross wind and caused his vehicle to turn over – he was laughing.”
The couple met students who gave demonstrations of repairing a car and a separate engine and they joined a discussion with the young men and their families about the course.
Major Georgette Grant McDonald, director of the institute, said more than 3,200 young men had been trained since the programme began in 2012: “Youth and community engagement is one of the strategic lines of effort of the Jamaican Defence Force. We see it as a means of changing the culture of crime and violence in Jamaica.
“So when we empower these youth with a skill, with workplace readiness, techniques and also with positive thinking it gives them hope, it gives them an option.”
Drumming from the protest group could be heard inside the military compound and Ras Iyah V, a leading member of Jamaica’s Rastafari Nyahbinghi community, said about the abolition of slavery: “In 1838 it is said that £20 million was given to the slave masters because they were going to lose their slaves.
“What has ever been given to us as a people for all these years of slavery and colonialism – that’s why we are here.
“We are here to protest against any British monarchy descendant coming to Jamaica without being prepared to apologise for slavery and colonialism. We can only forgive people who acknowledge that what they did was wrong and are willing to repair the breach of the wrongs they have committed.”
He added: “And today the British monarchy has a lot of African artefacts in their possession – they still bathe in the wealth that was extracted out of the blood, sweat and tears and lives of our people and we have never been compensated for any form of enslavement.
“We have never had an apology coming from the British monarchy to say they are sorry for slavery and colonialism.”