King welcomes review into monarchy’s links to slave-trade, as he says ‘time has come’

6 April 2023, 15:38 | Updated: 6 April 2023, 15:49

The King said he takes the study "profoundly seriously" and wants to deepen his own understanding of the slave trade.
The King said he takes the study "profoundly seriously" and wants to deepen his own understanding of the slave trade. Picture: Alamy

By Jenny Medlicott

The King has welcomed an independent study looking into the British monarchy's relationship with the slave trade in the 17th and 18th centuries, as he says it is a conversation "whose time has come".

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Buckingham Palace has said King Charles is taking the issue "profoundly seriously" and has embraced the study.

Co-sponsored by Historic Royal Palaces, the research is being carried out by The University of Manchester, which has been granted full access to Royal Archives and the Royal Collection.

The study is being conducted as part of a PHD project by historian Camilla de Koning – it started in October, a month after the King's ascension, and is expected to be completed in 2026.

Previously when addressing the slave trade, both King Charles and Prince William have expressed regret on the subject.

King Charles said while on a trip to Rwanda last year: "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.'"

Read more: Royal staff 'none the wiser' over whether Harry and Meghan will attend coronation - and RSVP date has passed

Read more: Drag queens should be invited into schools to tackle 'heteronormative culture' dominating education, union says

King Charles visited Rwanda in June last year where he made a speech at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Dinner.
King Charles visited Rwanda in June last year where he made a speech at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Dinner. Picture: Chris Jackson via Getty images

A never seen before document in The Guardian shows the 1689 transfer of shares in the slave-trading Royal African Company from Edward Colston - the slave trader and the company's deputy governor - to King William III.

As such, the King said he wants to help further understanding of slavery's impact with "vigour and determination", according to a spokesman for Buckingham Palace.

The spokesman also added: "Given the complexities of the issues it is important to explore them as thoroughly as possible."

Prince William and Kate Winslet took a tour of the Caribbean last Spring, where the Prince of Wales expressed regret at the slave trade history.
Prince William and Kate Winslet took a tour of the Caribbean last Spring, where the Prince of Wales expressed regret at the slave trade history. Picture: Pool via Getty images

Prince William also commented on the country's involvement with the slave trade on a trip to Jamaica last year, as he said it "forever stains our history" and "should never have happened".

PHD student Ms De Koning said of the project: "The royals are often overlooked when it comes to influence".

"It seems like they are just stamping decrees, but they are actually very involved as diplomatic players," she told the BBC.

Dr Edmond Smith, who is supervising Ms De Koning's project, said the crown has "often been left out of discussions" on the transatlantic slave trade, and an "important hole that needed to be filled through the research.

"How the royal household may take that research on board is something we can only hope to see develop in the coming years."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Breaking
Breaking News

National Lottery down as users unable to access site and app

Thousands of flights were cancelled across the globe on Friday.

Travel misery continues as global IT outage 'could take weeks to clear' - with over 5,000 flights cancelled worldwide

Nadiya Bychkova allegedly made a complaint to Strictly bosses

Strictly pro Nadiya Bychkova breaks silence over 'complaint' amid misconduct scandal

An independent review has recommended teachers and nurses get 5.5% pay rises

Teachers and nurses among millions of public sector workers that should get 5.5% pay rise, ministers told

Tom Tugendhat

Two top Tories back Tom Tugendhat to be next Conservative leader

Shockat Adam

Independent MP who dedicated surprise win to Gaza 'hit with death threat'

The Tavistock Centre

'No evidence' curbs on puberty blockers have led to rise in suicide among trans children, report finds

Thousands of flights were cancelled across the globe on Friday.

Boss of company behind global IT outage 'sincerely apologises' for worldwide chaos sparked by software bug

President Joe Biden

Joe Biden insists he will stay in race, as president's family 'discuss exit plan from election campaign'

A burnt out car in the Leeds suburb of Harehills, after vehicles were set on fire and a police car was overturned as residents were warned to stay home following an outbreak of disorder on Thursday evening. Picture date: Friday July 19, 2024.

Council to hold 'urgent review of 'family matter' after rioters wreak havoc in Leeds on night of 'shocking' carnage

Brendan Cole slaps his partner Fiona Hill's bottom three times

Strictly pro dancer slaps female partner's bottom three times in freshly surfaced footage, after two dancers leave show

Trump gunman researched Royal family member during planning for assassination attempt

Donald Trump gunman 'scoped out Kate Middleton and had pictures of her on his phone' before failed murder attempt

Thousands of flights were cancelled across the globe on Friday.

Misery for holidaymakers as 4,000 flights grounded by IT outage that sparked chaos, and recovery 'could cost billions'

Christina Sandera and Clint Eastwood in 2018

Clint Eastwood's partner Christina Sandera dies aged 61, as 94-year-old Hollywood icon gives poignant tribute

Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories is unlawful, the International Court of Justice has ruled

Top UN court rules Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories 'unlawful', as Netanyahu slams 'false decision'

Over 4,000 flights have been delayed or cancelled today.

Has your flight been affected by the global IT outage? Can you claim compensation?