Rasta, reggae, Royal!

Monday, March 05, 2012

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Prince Charles may have had the Bob Marley song, Lively Up Yourself, on his mind during his last two trips to Jamaica. The heir to the British throne certainly soaked up the reggae culture while visiting in 2000 and 2008.

Charles donned a Rasta tam and attempted some reggae moves while touring sections of Marley's old stomping ground, Trench Town, in February 2000.

In March 2008, the Prince visited the Bob Marley Museum at Hope Road with his wife Camilla Parker Bowles. They joined a group of Rastafarians in a ceremonial beating of the drums much to the amusement of large crowd.

Today, Charles' younger son Prince Harry is scheduled to arrive in Kingston for his first official visit to Jamaica. He and his older brother, Prince William, represent a new generation of royals who refuse to be restricted by titles, preferring clubbing and hanging out with celebrities, to the symbolism of calendar events like the Royal Ascot.

Marquee names like David and Victoria Beckham attended William's wedding to Catherine Middleton last April. Twenty-seven-year-old Harry will rub shoulders with superstar sprinter Usain Bolt during his four-day visit.

Unlike his father, Harry's love for music is not limited to the classics. He is a 'clubber' and big hip-hop fan who invited rap's biggest names to his late mother Princess Diana's charity event in London in 2007.

Prince Harry's visit coincides with significant milestones for Jamaica and his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II. The country marks 50 years of independence from Britain in August while Elizabeth II's coronation as British head of state took place in 1952.

Queen Elizabeth II's ascension occurred at a time of mass Caribbean migration to Britain, with Jamaica providing most of the immigrants who helped rebuild the British economy which had been devastated by World War II.

Jamaica's influence on British culture can be traced to the ska revolution of the early 1960s. Marley recorded three of his most famous albums (Live!, Exodus, Kaya) there and reggae music was the soundtrack for rebellious British youth in the 1970s.

Dancehall is the sound of choice in Jamaica. Wonder if Harry's moves are better than the old man's?





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