Prince Charles of Britain has expressed his “personal sorrow” over the suffering of slavery and its “enduring impact.”
While speaking at the opening of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, the Prince of Wales, who represented Queen Elizabeth II, said that past faults need to be acknowledged for a common future.
He said” “To unlock the power of our common future, we must also acknowledge the wrongs which have shaped our past. Many of those wrongs belong to an earlier age with different, and in some ways, lesser values.”
The prince made it known he wants to acknowledge “that the roots of our contemporary association run deep into the most painful period of our history.”
“I cannot describe the depths of my personal sorrow at the suffering of so many, as I continue to deepen my own understanding of slavery’s enduring impact,” he added.
During the Transatlantic Slave Trade, British merchant backed by the state transported and enslaved over 3 million people from Africa, a policy which was not abolished until 1807.
While speaking on the relationship between commonwealth countries’ and the UK’s monarchy, the prince said their constitutional link with the Buckingham Palace is “a matter for each member country to decide.”
He said: “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.
“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 benefit of long life brings me the experience that arrangements such as these can change, calmly and without rancour.
“As I said in Barbados last November, we should never forget the things which do not change: the close and trusted partnership between Commonwealth members; our common values and shared goals; and, perhaps most importantly, the strong and enduring connections between the peoples of the Commonwealth which strengthen us all.”
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