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Prince William expresses “deep sadness” at the taint of slavery in Britain

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Prince William has expressed his “deep sadness” at the taint of slavery in Britain in a landmark speech during the royal tour of the Caribbean.

The Duke of Cambridge said he “strongly agrees” with his father Prince Charles’ earlier statement that Britain will forever be tainted by its role in the global slave trade.

Addressing dignitaries in Jamaica, future King William, who is on an eight-day tour of the region this week with his wife Kate, said: “Slavery was abhorrent. And it should never have happened.

“While the pain runs deep, Jamaica continues to forge its future with determination, courage and steadfastness.

“The strength and shared purpose of the Jamaican people, reflected in your flag and motto, celebrate an invincible spirit.”







The royal couple spoke to Jamaica’s Prime Minister and Governor General
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Image:

PA)

Amid passionate protests on Tuesday in the capital Kingston, just hours before William and Kate landed on the Caribbean island, the Duke decided to make calls for the royal family to acknowledge Britain’s shameful history.

But the second in line to the throne remained close to meeting demands for him to issue an apology for the monarchy’s role in sanctioning the transfer of thousands of black slaves from their homelands in the Caribbean and across Africa.

At a black-tie dinner at the King’s House, the official residence of Jamaica’s governor-general, William spoke personally to Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who told the Duke and Duchess during a meeting at his office earlier in the day how the island nation is “moving.” from centuries of British rule.

In another nod to the devastating conflict in Ukraine during the ongoing brutal Russian invasion, William said we must never forget the “appalling toll and disparity of wars and conflicts around the world.”







William and Kate arrive at the King’s House in Kingston for dinner
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William and Kate are in the middle of a week-long Caribbean tour
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The Duke said: “Over the decades, Jamaica has seen tremendous changes.

“But what has not changed is Jamaica’s irrefutable belief in upholding democracy and working with other nations in support of peace, security and international law.

“Prime Minister, your strong statement condemning the invasion of Ukraine is proof of that.

“Catherine and I were deeply moved by the plight of the Jamaican students who recently returned safely from Ukraine.

“Their experiences are a reminder of the horrifying toll and disparity of wars and conflicts around the world that we must never forget.

“Anniversaries are also a moment for reflection, especially this week with the International Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

“I agree with my father, the Prince of Wales, who said in Barbados last year that the appalling cruelty of slavery is forever staining our history.

“I want to express my deep sadness. Slavery was abominable.

“And it should never have happened.”

In 2018, during a visit to Ghana, Prince Charles said the atrocities had left an “indelible mark” on the world.

In November, the heir attended a ceremony to recognize Barbados as a republic after centuries of British rule. Acknowledging the “appalling atrocity of slavery,” Charles said the slave trade stemmed “from the darkest days of our past … staining our history forever”.

Meanwhile, William also spoke about the pain of Jamaicans, but praised their bravery throughout their history and paid tribute to the Windrush generation.

He added: “While the pain runs deep, Jamaica continues to forge its future with determination, courage and steadfastness.

“The strength and shared purpose of the Jamaican people reflected in your flag and motto celebrates an invincible spirit.

“It’s the same spirit that inspired the Windrush generation that came to Britain after the Second World War to help rebuild.

“We are forever grateful for the immense contribution this generation and their descendants have made to British life, which continues to enrich and improve our society.

“I am delighted that later this year a national monument honoring and celebrating Jamaican artist Basil Watson’s Windrush generation will be unveiled at Waterloo Station in London.”

William added how he and Kate, who are on their first visit to Jamaica, were hoping to bring their three children back to the island after experiencing the warmth on the streets of Trench Town on Tuesday as they visited the birthplace of the Reggae legend Bob Marley visited.

And he said they “deeply admired” the dedication and commitment of the Jamaica Defense Forces.

William added: “Catherine and I just wish we had more time with you all in Jamaica.

“There is still so much to learn.

“I hope this will be one of many visits.

“And next time we’d love to bring our kids.”







William and Kate with Prime Minister of Jamaica Andrew Holness and his wife Juliet during a meeting at his Kingston office
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Jane Barlow/PA cable)

As part of William and Kate’s tour, partly to celebrate the Queen’s platinum jubilee this year, William passed on his grandmother’s wishes and said he was touched to hear from locals of her affection for Her Majesty , adding that she is considered everyone’s grandmother.

He said: “Catherine and I are delighted to be here on our first official visit to Jamaica.

“My whole family has enjoyed their visits here so much. They raved about the warmth and fun of Jamaicans and the beauty of this island.

“In our short time here, Catherine and I are delighted to have felt what Bob Marley described so many years ago – the spirit of ‘One Love’ that Jamaica brought to the world and that makes this country so special.

“I am particularly pleased to bring you tonight the best wishes from my grandmother, the Queen of Jamaica, on her Platinum Jubilee.

“It’s no secret that the Queen has a deep affection for Jamaica, forged on her very first visit here with my grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh, in 1953.

“And I was also touched to hear of their affection for the Queen from Jamaicans young and old today.

“Her dedication, commitment and sense of duty to the Commonwealth family are deeply admired.

“She may be my real grandmother, but everyone counts her as their grandmother too. And I agree with that!

“And of course, with the Queen celebrating seventy years on the throne, this is also a very special year for Jamaica as you celebrate your sixtieth anniversary of independence.

“Now that’s double the excuse for a party!”

To conclude his speech, William chose a line from one of Bob Marley’s most famous songs and said, “One Love.”

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/prince-william-expresses-profound-sorrow-26542909 Prince William expresses "deep sadness" at the taint of slavery in Britain

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