Prince Charles Tells Commonwealth Leaders That He’s Sorry Over Slavery

Well, no one can deny that it’s a step in the right direction. Prince Charles said he is on a personal journey of discovery and continuing to “deepen my own understanding of slavery’s enduring impact” in a speech to Commonwealth leaders.

The Prince of Wales told the Commonwealth summit the potential of the family of the nations for good cannot be realized until we all “acknowledge the wrongs which have shaped our past.” Here’s what you need to know.

Prince Charles Tells Commonwealth Leaders That He’s Sorry Over Slavery

The Prince of Wales said that he recognized the roots of the family of nations “run deep into the most painful period of our history” and acknowledging the wrongs of the past was a “conversation whose time has come.” But there was no apology from the heir to the throne for the royal family’s involvement in the transportation and selling of people for profit.

Charles told the gathering of prime ministers and presidents, who included Boris Johnson, he could not “describe the depths of my personal sorrow at the suffering of so many” during slavery. He also told the summit that the countries which still have the Queen as Head of State can transition to a republic if they wish.

“The commonwealth contains within it countries that have had constitutional relationships with my family – some that continue to do so, and increasingly those that have had none,” he told world leaders. “I want to say clearly, as I have said before, that each member’s constitutional arrangement, as republic or monarchy, is purely a matter for each member country to decide.”

The prince is representing the Queen at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Chogm), but his visit to the Rwandan capital Kigali has been overshadowed by a row over reported comments he made criticizing the government’s scheme to send asylum seekers to the east African nation. The British PM had suggested he would tell Charles to be open-minded about his Rwanda asylum policy when the two men meet later, but he has stepped back from these comments saying he would not discuss conversations with the Queen or the heir to the throne.

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