Prince Charles spoke about ‘the appalling atrocity of slavery’ in Barbados

Presidential Inauguration Ceremony of President Sandra Mason of Barbados

Prince Charles arrived in Barbados yesterday to attend the formal ceremony for removing Queen Elizabeth II as the country’s head of state. Barbados decided to remove QEII a year ago, and they elected a president (Sandra Mason) who will be their new head of state. There were some questioning why Charles was even there, and why he was even included in the ceremony and allowed to make a speech. I sort of get it though? It was a bloodless coup, and Barbados showed the world how a transfer of (symbolic) power can look in a civilized society. Charles’ attendance was important because it legitimized Barbados’ actions and their new president, and Charles wanted to show that the UK was still interested in maintaining historic ties between the two countries.

Charles’ speech was about their shared history, both good and bad, and he spoke about Britain’s role in the slave trade: “From the darkest days of our past, and the appalling atrocity of slavery, which forever stains our histories, the people of this island forged their path with extraordinary fortitude… Emancipation, self-government and independence were your way-points. Freedom, justice and self-determination have been your guides.” He thanked the government for inviting him to the ceremonial transfer of power, and he shared a message from the Queen.

Rihanna was also in attendance at the ceremony, given that she’s an official goodwill ambassador for the country and she is one of their greatest exports. As part of the ceremony, she was named a National Hero of Barbados, and she totally stole the show from Charles and everybody else. Not to disrespect Rihanna at all, but I kind of wish she had worn a bra??

Presidential Inauguration Ceremony of President Sandra Mason of Barbados

Presidential Inauguration Ceremony of President Sandra Mason of Barbados

Presidential Inauguration Ceremony of President Sandra Mason of Barbados

Photos courtesy of Instar.

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60 Responses to “Prince Charles spoke about ‘the appalling atrocity of slavery’ in Barbados”

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  1. OriginalLala says:

    It would have been ever better if the BRF had formally apologized for their colonial past and returned whatever jewels/goods they have stolen from Barbados as a gesture of reconciliation.

    • A says:

      The British were not the first colonizers in Barbados, it was the Spanish who mostly decimated the original peoples of the Caribbean islands. It’s not just the British who would owe the descendants of the Arawak and Caribs compensation. It’s most of sea-faring Europe, if you ask me (which I know you didn’t). The majority of people who live there now are descendants of enslaved Africans who were brought to the island to work in the sugar cane fields. What the British owe them, in my opinion, is reparations for this. They made ungodly amounts of money off the backs of enslaved people doing hugely dangerous, intensive work that would not have been profitable had they been paid for it.

      • OriginalLala says:

        I 10000% agree with you!

      • MMadison says:

        Lets be VERY CLEAR: It was the BRITISH that was responsible for the slave trading in Barbados…not the Spanish not ANYONE else but the BRITS….PERIOD. Also it was the British Royal Family spreading slavery across the world….PERIOD

      • Cg2495 says:

        Yep. My mother is Garinagu / Garifuna. We are a mix of warrior African slaves that were to be slaves in the Caribbean. As they got close to St. Vincent , they rebelled, killed their captors and the survivors swam to the island. There they mixed with the Arawak and the French settlers. Then the British came in and the rest is history. I wish we can also be repaired and given back all that was stolen from us. F*ck the BRF , im glad Barbados is now a republic. Hope the entire commonwealth follows suit. This family is disgusting… and on top treated Meghan like shit when she was the only one that could have helped their image. Abolish the monarchy! F charles!

      • Smacd says:

        It’s my understanding that the Spanish weren’t even concerned about the little islands and it was the British who snatched up Barbados until 1966. They were the ones who turned the island into a slave society.

      • Mac says:

        Let’s be VERY CLEAR, the Spanish enslaved indigenous people and exported them to Spain where they were sold into slavery. They also purchased enslaved Africans to work in their colonies in the Caribbean and Central and South America.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Cg2495, one of my friends is Garifuna, and I have learneda little about their history from her. I am so ashamed that I didn’t know the history before! It is AMAZING! The amount of time they had their own society on St. Vincent before the British came back in was well over 100 years. It’s an incredible legacy of survival.

    • Smacd says:

      Replying here because I can’t directly reply to Mac: we are taking about Barbados, ok?! Yes the Spanish were up and down the region for years, selling slaves and being jerks but they generally didn’t bother themselves with the smaller islands that didn’t have gold for them to plunder. As far as Barbados is concerned, the Spanish were a non-issue compared to the British.

      • Mac says:

        The Spanish didn’t colonize Barbados but they did de-populate the island by kidnaping large numbers of Tainoi-Kalinago and exporting them to their other colonies in the region to work as enslaved laborers. The Spanish were so brutal many indigenous people fled to St. Vincent and Dominica. So, no, the Spanish were not a non-issue in Barbados.

  2. Katia says:

    Free the nipple Rihanna!! We are with you!!

    • Ipetgoat2 says:

      Exactly! Love seeing womens bodies, on their own terms, not sexualized by the male gaze, in the public sphere!!
      Also, how different they look next to each other (pc and rihanna). The past and the future …

      • Kviby says:

        I think she looks fine. I’ve always felt most comfortable wearing a bra, and to sleep a sports bra or tight tank top but if other women feel good without it I don’t think we should assume they are unprofessional or promiscuous or attention seeking, that would be sexist as men do not have to take extra steps to contain their flesh. Her hair looks very cute and I like her dress. Is she pregnant or is that a misleading photo?

    • Jais says:

      Nope, no nipple-shaming!

      • Jillian says:

        She looks beautiful and natural, women’s bodies don’t need to be underwired and spanxed all the time. Normalize this, we get plenty of the other already. And that dress is killer, A+ look all around

    • LovesitinNM says:

      Yes! That’s what I’m saying. We are acknowledging what white men did to her people and then having opinions of what she should do with her body? What the what? But my critical posts here are never approved…

    • Genevieve says:

      Totally. We can do whatever we want with our bodies and they’re ours to do with what we wish. I spent all of quarantine without a bra, going to the local deli, walking my dog, taking virtual phone calls, all without a bra. I do not miss them, even in my larger top size.

      Sure, I’ll wear a bra to go out because clothes are designed to be worn with a bra, as in, I would look frumpy and shapeless without one in certain outfits. But not once have I been afraid to go without due to what people may think.

      Oh! Because I’m a 34D, I recommend bralettes to anyone out there who may have the same back issues. Sometimes yes, I want a little support for walking around the house if the weight has been much to carry around.

    • GrnieWnie says:

      yeah, me too. I’m over the world telling women what to wear under their clothes.

    • jensays says:

      Agree 10000% with all you ladies. Some women have nipples… they show through certain garments. Just deal with it lol. I don’t shame men for not wearing undershirts when I see their nipples… on second thought maybe I should start doing that.

  3. NorthernGirl_20 says:

    Bras are overrated. I wish Canada would secede as well, ridiculous that the queen is on our money

    • Laura-Lee MacDonald says:

      Agreed! Oh, to see the flurry of excitement in creating a Canadian president! As for National hero, I will vote for Buffy Saint Marie.

      And I’m going to keep the pictures of Rihanna in my mind when I scowl at my belly and thighs, that are growing despite healthy efforts to stem it. Fork it! Screw you, unreasonable body standards! And no more bras -unless you want to wear one!

    • Bryn says:

      Secede the monarchy and bras!

    • Mika says:

      Every time I see that bitch on my money, I just think about how she’s protecting her rapist, pedophile son.

      It’s time for a Republic of Canada.

    • Kate says:

      Because it’s Rihanna I read “I wish she had worn a bra” to mean worn a bra as a shirt, not worn a bra under her dress. Clearly not what was meant but I was like yeah that would have been an interesting contrast against staid Prince Charles.

    • Aud says:

      It would be nice but it would take an extremely long time and cost an incredible amount of money. I don’t see it happening anytime soon. More likely that the UK ditches the monarchy and Canada responds after that imo.

      • yinyang says:

        That’s a myth pushed by monarchists. A panel of experts refuted it, it’s actually quite easy and not costly, we don’t depend on the monarchy for any type of income, we should just leave. Barbados did this in this day and age, no excuses for Canada.

      • A says:

        @yinyang, How many of those experts were First Nations people, who are aware of First Nations treaties and what those treaties entail, and which entities they were signed with? I’m not asking as a gotcha, I’m actually quite curious to know if these issues were taken into consideration by this panel of experts.

        Constitutional changes in Canada are not fun. They are not pleasant. This would be a massive constitutional change. A number of First Nations treaties that were inked and signed were signed with the Crown as an entity, NOT the government of Canada as it exists today. Those treaties are still in use today, they are still upheld today in courts, and they are used to defend the rights of First Nations people in various parts of what is today Canada to exist on the land the same way their ancestors did before the Europeans arrived.

        These things are valid, real concerns that many First Nations people have with the idea of abolishing the monarchy in Canada, and it’s deeply insulting of you to dismiss all of that as “a myth pushed by monarchists.” I’m not a monarchist, and the people I know who are First Nations who care about these issues are DEFINITELY not monarchists. They’re just people who are intimately aware of their own history of interacting with Europeans, who need to constantly be aware, bc it’s a matter of protecting their rights to exist as First Nations people.

        Canada, as a country, at this time, is NOT prepared to have the necessary conversations it needs to to confront is history, and that’s what abolishing the monarchy will require of the country. I’m not interested in starting something, then abandoning it half way bc things can’t be agreed upon or resolved. We still have unresolved constitutional issues to this DAY, with very little to no appetite for restarting those debates. Any effort to abolish the monarchy that doesn’t center the First Nations people is not an effort that’s worth being had.

      • yinyang says:

        First nations want the monarchy gone especially, they toppled down the queen victoria statue on canada day. Going against the monarchy would not end Canada’s treaties with first nations, stop trying to intertwine them.

      • GrnieWnie says:

        yes, very strange line of reasoning here. The queen is a figurehead, which by definition is not difficult to extricate as she serves no real function. AFAIK, it would amount to little more than abolishing the governor general’s office and changing the currency/some portraits kicking around public buildings. Some minor tweaks to legislation and legislative processes.

        Constitutions are supposed to be modified. If it’s impossible, you’ve defeated the purpose of a Constitution in the first place (it needs to evolve over time to suit new contexts and conditions). And idk why no one ever considers the fact that the PROCESS of modifying the Constitution can ITSELF be modified. That is, new mechanisms CAN be created. We build nations over time, we don’t stagnate bemoaning our own lack of agency over our own capacity for change. God forbid we grow up and stand on our own two feet. If this model of Federalism makes it impossible to reform, then it is no longer working for us! Raaaaaant.

      • Nic919 says:

        We could pass a law saying that the new republic of Canada assumes the obligations set out toward First Nations in the royal proclamation of 1763 and subsequent treaties and case law that developed as a result. The crown is now defined as the crown of Canada and not the United Kingdom, which was the original signatory of the treaties pre 1867. So it can be done if there is political will.

      • Krystina says:

        I’m a First Nations Canadian, and while you’re right that we want the monarchy gone, a lot of our treaties ARE, in fact, intertwined with the monarchy AND the government.
        You’re showing A LOT of ignorance here. Sit down.

  4. Jan says:

    Due to COVID-19 the B’dos Gov didn’t give permits to people that wanted to protest Charles presence.

  5. rawiya says:

    It was nice that Charles was there, as the next Head of the Commonwealth and all that fun stuff. He may be attending a lot of these in the future, so better get the first one over with as painlessly as possible. I don’t like what Rihanna’s wearing at all (bra or not), but her hair looks nice, so.

    • MF1 says:

      Agree about Rihanna’s outfit. I don’t care about the bra, but I do think her look isn’t professional enough for this event.

    • Betsy says:

      I think her hair looks amazing. I assume I’m missing a historical reference in it, but I love it regardless.

  6. Amy Bee says:

    I’m glad Rihanna didn’t wear a bra make Charles squirm. As for the speech, I think it has been established that slavery was bad so he’s not saying anything new. What was missing from the speech was an apology and an acknowledgement that it was based on racism and colonialism. Charles gets no credit from me for stating the obvious.

  7. ThatsNotOkay says:

    Speak for yourself, Charles. The atrocity of slavery is your shame to bear alone and a stain on your country’s past, not Barbados’s.

    • Fortuona says:

      Not really . Barbados was a private colony under William Courten that was populated by indentured labour ,then they started the Slave trade ,then the Goverment took over under Cromwell and a whole load of POW were sent there at the end of the War of the 3 Kingdoms. Only then did the slave trade realy kick in and lasted for 150 years – the slave trade was banned in 1807 and then they were emancipated in 1834

      • Amy Bee says:

        Anything to absolve the British and the Royal Family for their role in slavery and colonialism. LOL

  8. hindulovegod says:

    Barbados deserves reparations. Charles missed the part where he admitted his family’s gross wealth includes money made from slavery. They stole from Barbados and they need to pay it back. On a happier note, I’m excited that the realm is on its last legs. Jamaica is also looking into becoming a republic.

    • Jais says:

      Well, Charles wants to slim the monarchy, which should technically mean the excess tax cash that normally goes to royals can now go to Barbados and other commonwealth countries. Seems logical to me. Wonder why that hasn’t been proposed by Charles yet?

  9. Haylie says:

    You noticed that too, eh?

  10. corralee says:

    The British always crow that they never had slavery in their country – yeah you a-holes, because you just colonized them rest of the planet and kept your slaves there.

    Also, Rihanna should apologize for her rampant racism as well.

    • Bryn says:

      Lost me at the last part? Rampant racism?

      • Soni says:

        Rihanna has done MANY racist anti-Asian things. You can google it, I don’t feel like giving people a list of her transgressions.

    • Yasmine says:

      Riri’s done some racist shit. I remember her anti-Asian post aimed at Karrueche, Chris Brown’s gf at the time. When I read ‘rampant’ I thought: shit, what else has she done?!

    • MMadison says:

      @Corralee: Correct statement about the Brits and slavery (not sure about Riri). The Brits didn’t want to bring slavery to their Salty Island but they did EVERTHING to abduct men, women and children from their homes and force them into slavery. They stole, rapped and killed. They did it all….and still today they play dumb like their hands are not stained with the blood of slavery.

      • Yasmine says:

        @MMadison, you’re so right about them playing dumb. I studied in the UK at a supposedly progressive university and I was shocked at how they still debate the merits of colonialism in class. I also heard a million times that racism was an American ‘thing,’ that it was constructed there and doesn’t apply to the UK. I had to constantly push back and be like: you created the colonies of North America and the transatlantic slave trade, you are responsible. People would start crying in class and report me to the profs as a bully. Sound familiar?

      • Smacd says:

        Yep. Even taught my grandmother and other Caribbean children a cute song to sing in school: “Rule Brittania, Britons never will be slaves “
        A complete lack of self awareness, for sure.

    • Dizza says:

      @corrales thank you for acknowledging Rih’s history of racism and not apologizing for it. I have no idea why she continues to get a pass for her crappy behavior and why people continue to praise a woman who has never even acknowledged her racist bull.

  11. Becks1 says:

    Ha, get ready for a lot more of these speeches Charles.

    Has he lost weight, btw?

    • Liz version 700 says:

      Agreed he should have a file of these speeches at the ready! It’s kind of ballsy to talk about the horrors of slavery with no reference to fiaily’s part in perpetuating it…

  12. yinyang says:

    Why does the royal family always point fingers, just shut up.

  13. Robin Samuels says:

    Everything Princess Diana’s ex-husband does and speaks is performative. Relations between Africans and Asians in the Caribbean have not always been healthy, and the targeting is two-sided. I dream of the day women can see other women without misogynistic criticism. Rhinnana is a self-made billionaire with a successful cosmetic line. The concern about her appearance not being professional sounds like Meghan is breaking protocol. One day ladies, one day.

  14. Storminateacup says:

    The Dutch, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Germans and British colonised the Caribbean. The British economically benefitted the most from the slave trade and the production of sugar.
    The BRF need to pay reparations not talk about the evils of slavery.

  15. cisne says:

    yah Rhi Rhi kinna looked like a hot mess here. Inappropriate outfit and the no bra business is just tasteless, tacky!!

  16. London92 says:

    Is Rhi Rhi pregnant? She looks like she is about 5 to 6 months along. I know she is in a serious relationship so this is a legit question