For the first time in the history of the British monarchy, Buckingham Palace has indicated its support for an investigation into the British royal family’s historical ties to the slave trade.
Last week, The Guardian published a series of investigative articles on how Britain, British businesses and society benefited from the slave trade in the past. We’ve written about this initiative in more detail here:
This is a rather silent area of British-English history, and it is not discussed as widely and in detail as, for example, in the United States, so the series of articles has historical significance, such as the fact that King Charles gave permission to search the royal archives – said blogger Royal Sztorik & Királyi Kronikak.
The Guardian reported Thursday that King Charles has signaled his support for research into the historical links between the British monarchy and slavery across the Atlantic.
The British newspaper published an unprecedented document showing a clear connection between the institution of the kingdom and the slave trade: the document says that in 1689 one of the chiefs of the Royal African company dealing with the slave trade, Edward Colston, made 1,000 pounds to the third. King Filmos owns shares of the company.
Buckingham Palace has not commented on the document, but said it supports a research project co-funded by Historic Royal Palaces (HRP), which manages several palaces, into the monarchy’s involvement in the slave trade.
Historians who specialize in the monarchy’s centuries-old role in enslaving Africans “cautiously” welcomed the palace’s announcement, but added that more needed to be done.
A palace spokesperson told the newspaper: “Her Majesty The Queen takes this very seriously. As Her Majesty told the Commonwealth Heads of Government Assembly in Rwanda last year: ‘I cannot express the depth of my personal grief for the suffering of so many while I continue to deepen my understanding of the enduring impact of slavery.'”
The palace added: “This process has continued with vigor and determination since Her Majesty the Queen ascended the throne. Historic Royal Palaces is a partner in an independent research project, launched last October, which explores, among other things, the links between the British monarchy and the transatlantic slave trade in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.”
A spokesperson said: “As part of this endeavour, the Royal Family is supporting this research with access to the Royal Collection and Royal Archives.”
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