Analysis: Prince Charles says it’s ‘time’ to confront legacy of slavery

The prince will succeed his mother as head of the organization, an association of independent nations that emerged from the ashes of the British Empire. This empire will forever be associated with slavery, and Prince Charles made it clear in his opening remarks that he wants to change the status quo and start a dialogue about it.

“As we strive together for peace, prosperity and democracy, I want to recognize that the roots of our modern unity go deep into the most painful period of our history,” he told delegates. “I cannot describe the depth of my personal sadness at the suffering of so many people as I continue to deepen my own understanding of the enduring impact of slavery.”

The delegates who left after the speech seemed excited and inspired by the words of the prince. For some, a louder “sorry” would be more appropriate, but that would open the way for claims for damages, and that’s a matter for the government, not the monarchy.

Charles said the Commonwealth needed to “find new ways to acknowledge our past. Simply put, this is a conversation whose time has come. Excellencies, conversations begin with listening.”

Yusuf Keketoma Sandi was part of the Sierra Leone delegation. Tens of thousands of Africans were kidnapped and brought to Sierra Leoneto sell and put on slave ships bound for America. It later became a British colony.

He told us: “Slavery was not part of the conversation, so the fact that today the prince is talking about slavery and see how we want to start this conversation… Sierra Leone is looking forward to it and we hope that when it starts, he visit Sierra Leone and visit some of the scars left in Sierra Leone.”

In 15 countries, Queen Elizabeth II is still the head of state. Barbados replaced her with a locally appointed president just last year. The Jamaican Prime Minister voiced a desire to do the same a few months ago.

In Kigali, Charles made it clear that he would not stand in the way of countries that broke off relations with the monarchy. He said: “The Commonwealth includes countries that had a constitutional relationship with my family, some of them continue to maintain them, and increasingly those that did not. the arrangement, whether it be a republic or a monarchy, is exclusively the business of each member country.”

The scars of slavery run deep across the planet. This couldn’t be a more sensitive topic. The royals may have shied away from this in the past, but now Prince Charles wants to talk about it, and he wants the Commonwealth to be the platform. He wants to be part of the solution, not a symbol of the problem.

ROYAL TEA BREAK

Charles and the British Prime Minister avoid an awkward skirmish during a trip to Rwanda.

In the past few days, there have been rumors of possible tensions between Prince Charles and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The Johnson government is pushing for a policy of sending some asylum seekers arriving in the UK to Rwanda for processing and possible resettlement. The British newspaper The Times reported that the royal called the plan “terrible”. With a bilateral meeting between the two on the sidelines of the Commonwealth leaders’ summit in Kigali on the cards on Friday, the British media watched to see if any of the reported tension was visible. However, hours before the event, Johnson made it clear that any conversation he might have with Charles would remain confidential. “I would not comment on anything I say to the Queen or what the Queen says to me. Nor will I say anything about what the heir to the throne might tell me or what I might say to him. Prime ministers never talk about it, and rightly so,” Johnson told reporters on Friday morning. For its part, Clarence House said it would not comment on any alleged remarks other than to say the prince is politically neutral.

JOIN THE TOUR

Emotional first day.

Prince Charles arrived in Rwanda on Tuesday evening, becoming the first member of the royal family to visit the country. While here to represent the Queen at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), he organized a series of events to celebrate the main event.

first day of visit was heavily focused on learning more about the 1994 genocide, and included a trip to the Nyamata Church, in and around which at least 45,000 people were killed. A spokesman for Clarence House said the royals were struck by the importance of never forgetting the horrors of the past. But they were also “deeply moved as they listened to people who have found a way to live and even forgive the most heinous crimes,” the spokesperson added.

DO NOT MISS

One of Camille’s most powerful speeches.

The Duchess of Cornwall took center stage at Thursday’s Commonwealth meeting when she called on leaders to step up their efforts to prevent domestic violence. “There is strength in this union. In the strength of our unity, we, the women and men of the Commonwealth, stand by the victims and survivors who, despite the temptation to hide in silence, speak in such a way that others know they are not alone – whether in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Pacific or Caribbean and America,” the future queen said in her address. “By doing so, we have the opportunity to end gender-based violence and the laws and practices that discriminate against women. And each of us must take personal responsibility not to miss this opportunity.”

Carrie Johnson, wife of the British Prime Minister, was among the visitors to the Kigali Convention Centre. While there may be reports of tension between their husbands, they seemed to be happy to see each other. Johnson greeted the Duchess warmly as she walked over to her table during the event, and the couple looked relaxed as they chatted and laughed together.

Although she is only here as an escort to Prince Charles, the speech showed that Camilla is already living up to her future title of Queen Consort and showing the same commitment to the Commonwealth as her mother-in-law. Read her full speech here.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Caring for the mass grave at the Kigali Genocide Memorial, where 250,000 victims of the 1994 massacre are buried.

On Wednesday, members of the royal family laid a wreath in honor of the victims, along with a note that read: “In memory of those who died during the anti-Tutsi genocide.” It was signed “Charles” and “Camilla”.

Max interviews Freddie Mutanguhi, director of the site and himself a survivor of the genocide.

At the memorial museum, the entire room is filled with family photographs of some of the victims.

Prince Charles inspects the mass graves behind Nyamata Church, one of the six national monuments of the Rwandan genocide. 45,308 victims from the surrounding area are buried here.

In the church, which today stands as a memorial to the 28-year-old violence, the pews were replaced with the clothes and personal belongings of the victims. Even now, bodies found elsewhere are brought to the church as former attackers identify other burials as part of a reconciliation process that began in 1999.

Charles speaks with students and beneficiaries of his Prince’s Trust International at the Joint Polytechnic Regional Center in Kigali on Thursday.

He later visited Umusambi village, Kigali’s first and only wildlife sanctuary, during which he learned about the conservation of restored wetlands, home to the endangered Common Crowned Cranes, and planted a tree.

DID YOU KNOW?

During the trip, Prince Charles made sure to meet students associated with his charity Prince’s Trust International (PTI). The global organization was established in 2015 and has supported more than 45,000 young people to return to education and prepare for their own careers.

Here in Rwanda, the charity has been working with local partners since 2020, and the Prince of Wales seemed delighted to speak to some of those he helps. The royal toured several stalls of local products from young entrepreneurs and chatted animatedly with the students before posing for a group photo.

Speaking ahead of the event, 24-year-old hospitality student Regis told us that welcoming Charles on Thursday “means a lot.”

“I think it’s a privilege and an honor for the prince to organize (see) those people he helps find jobs,” he said with a big smile on his face. “Many want to meet him, but are not going to. But it inspires us.”

Regis explained that he contacted PTI because she was working with the African Institute of Management here in Rwanda and helping him train and do internships at local hotels.

“Right now, from the trainings and every meal they give us, now we are starting our careers. And I think that in three to five years I will have my own business … starting with PTI, ”he added. .

WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON?

Members of the royal family praise the Windrush Generation at the memorial ceremony.

The Queen thanked the generation of post-World War II Caribbean migrants from Windrush for their “profound contribution” to British life, as a monument was unveiled in their honour, at London Waterloo railway station. Prince William, who attended the opening ceremony alongside the Duchess of Cambridge, praised the generation, acknowledging that “discrimination remains an all too familiar experience for black men and women in the UK in 2022.” Some members of the Windrush generation who were invited to come to the UK to rebuild the country in the 1940s and 1950s were persecuted or deported by the government in 2017. painful political scandal. “It’s also important to acknowledge that the future they sought and deserved has not yet arrived,” William told those gathered at Waterloo on Wednesday.

Summer image of the queen.

Her major was spotted with a new hairdo this week and royal watchers went crazy for her. In photos posted to the royal family’s official Instagram on Wednesday, the monarch was seen sporting a shorter haircut during an audience at Windsor. It’s a subtle difference from the longer, looser locks that many associate Queen Elizabeth II with. “The Queen looks great! Her new summer hairstyle looks perfect,” wrote one user. “Love your new hairstyle your majesty,” wrote another. Read the full story here.
Queen Elizabeth II receives New South Wales Governor Margaret Beasley during an audience at Windsor Castle on Wednesday.

William and Kate are impressive in their first portrait together.

Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, saw their first official portrait taken together on Thursday. The painting shows Kate in a flowing emerald dress and William in a dark suit with his hand in his pocket. The painting was commissioned as a gift to the people of Cambridgeshire, and there are subtle hints of the region in its background tones. “It’s quite large,” William remarked when it was on display at the Cambridge Fitzwilliam Museum, according to PA Media. He also told artist Jamie Koret that it was “awesome”. In an interview with Big Issue magazine earlier this week marking his 40th birthday, William said he was a fan of Renaissance paintings and studied “a bit” of art history at university, but quit because he “kept falling asleep.” at the lectures. Learn more.
Official joint portrait of the Cambridges.

“It’s not easy. I’ve been studied for so long, you just have to find a way to live with it. Nobody likes to be looked at all the time and, you know, criticized … But I think that in the end, I kind of rise above that’s what I’m dealing with. You have to keep living.”

The Duchess of Cornwall on the media scrutiny she faced in the 90s.

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