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Faith Nyasuguta 

British royal, Prince Charles has expressed ‘sorrow’ for the atrocities of slavery at the Commonwealth summit in Rwanda this past weekend. 

The British royal calls for slavery to be taught across Britain as he spoke of  his ‘personal journey of discovery’ that has ‘deepened his own understanding of slavery’s enduring impact’ 

However, the Commonwealth hereditary leader failed to apologize for the acroticities committed by his country during slavery and colonial days.

The heir to the throne also missed to mention the royal family’s involvement in the transportation and selling of people for profit.

The Prince of Wales, secretary-general of the Commonwealth of Nations Baroness Scotland, President of Rwanda Paul Kagame and Prime Minister Boris Johnson /Chris Jackson,PA/

“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 said.

In 2018, while addressing commonwealth leaders, ex-British Prime Minister, Theresa May also found it worthy to issue an apology for Britain’s ‘sodomy’ law on the continent but not on slavery and other heinous colonial crimes.  

Her apology on ‘sodomy’ law was branded as selective and misleading due to the fact that same-sex practice was already a taboo in many African cultures prior to colonialism. 

According to many Africans, the British royals and politicians should emphasise on the real crimes committed during colonialism and not just about lifestyle choices in order to appease their liberal voters back home.

The Prince of Wales shakes hands with Prime Minister Boris Johnson as they attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting opening ceremony at Kigali Convention Centre (Chris Jackson, PA)

Years ago, tens of thousands of Africans were kidnapped and taken to Sierra Leone, to be traded and put on slave ships bound for the Americas. It later became a British colony.

“Slavery has not been part of the conversation, so the fact that we have the prince today talking about slavery and to see how we want to start that conversation… Sierra Leone is looking forward to that and we hope that when it starts he will pay a visit to Sierra Leone and go and see some of the scars left in Sierra Leone,” one Yusuf Sandi, Sierra Leone presidential spokesman said.

Currently, 15 countries still have Queen Elizabeth II as head of state. Barbados only replaced her with a locally appointed president last year. The Prime Minister of Jamaica voiced the desire to do the same a few months ago.

The Caribbean nations that still consider the queen as the head of state include:

-Antigua and Barbuda

-The Bahamas




-Saint Lucia

-St Kitts and Nevis

-St Vincent and the Grenadines

In Rwanda, Charles made it clear that he would not stand in the way of nations cutting ties with the monarchy.

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 scars of slavery run deep globally. It could never be a more sensitive subject. Royals may have shied away from it in the past but Prince Charles now wants to talk about it and he wants the Commonwealth to be the platform. 

Could he be wanting to be part of the solution instead of a symbol of the problem?

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Faith Nyasuguta

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