King Charles In Support Of Probe Into Royal Family’s Slavery Links For The First Time

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As an American historian uncovered a document suggesting one of his predecessors held stakes in a slaving enterprise, King Charles has for the first time expressed his support for study into the monarchy’s connections to the slave trade.

King William III was awarded shares in the Royal African Company, according to a ledger, which prompted Buckingham Palace to declare that Charles took the matter of his family’s involvement in slavery “profoundly seriously.”

The 1689 document, which was discovered by Virginia-based historian Dr. Brooke Newman in a royal archive, details the transfer of £1,000 worth of company shares from Edward Colston, the company’s governor, to William of Orange.

The document demonstrates William possessed shares in the Royal African Company while he was also constructing Kensington Palace, which became his house and is now the Princess and Princess of Wales’ official residence in London.

The Guardian-published document was not addressed by Buckingham Palace, although the palace did state that the royals were in favor of a study into the monarchy’s ties to slavery.

‘As His Majesty told the Commonwealth heads of government reception in 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”.

‘That process has continued with vigour and determination since His Majesty’s accession.

‘Historic Royal Palaces is a partner in an independent research project, which began in October last year, that is exploring, among other issues, the links between the British monarchy and the transatlantic slave trade during the late 17th and 18th centuries.’

The palace spokesman continued: ‘As part of that drive, the royal household is supporting this research through access to the royal collection and the royal archives.’

The charity responsible for overseeing a few of the vacant royal palaces in the UK is called Historic Royal Palaces.

Rich merchant and philanthropist Colston, whose signature can be seen on the paper, was previously memorialized on a statue in Bristol before it was destroyed during Black Lives Matter demonstrations in June 2020.

The King has previously emphasized the need for Britain to be “transparent” about its involvement in the slave trade, but it is understood that this is the first time Buckingham Palace has publicly backed investigations into the royal family’s ties to the practice.

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