KINGSTON, Jamaica (Reuters) - Britain's Queen Elizabeth II arrived for a three-day visit in Jamaica on Monday and was greeted by government leaders, school children and activists asking to be repatriated to Africa.
The Queen's visit to Jamaica, her second since 1994, is part of her Golden Jubilee marking 50 years as head of the British monarchy and will be followed by visits to Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
Soon after the British Airways Boeing 777 aircraft carrying the Queen and her husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, came to a halt at Norman Manly International Airport, soldiers rolled out a red carpet before hundreds of onlookers.
The royal couple greeted officials including Prime Minister P.J. Patterson for 15 minutes before moving to the National Heroes Park in Kingston, where she laid a wreath at a cenotaph. She shook hands with members of the Jamaica Legion, a group of former World War I and World War II veterans.
Along the route from the airport the royal party was welcomed by waving school children. Members of the Rastafarian religious sect were positioned at various points with messages that they wanted to return to Africa, which they consider their homeland.
Rastafarians have been seeking repatriation for many years and vow they will not give up their fight to go back to Africa. They believe that the Queen can help them in their cause.
The visit to Jamaica has renewed criticism of the Queen's position as ceremonial head of state of a country that prides itself on being less dependent on the former colonial power than many of its Caribbean neighbors.