Prince Charles spoke of his ‘personal sorrow’ of slavery during the CHOGM

We didn’t talk about this at all last week because we were so wrapped up in Prince William’s sad 40th birthday keenery, but Prince Charles arrived in Rwanda last week for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. Charles took his mother’s place at the meeting and it was originally supposed to be “the soon-to-be king presiding over his commonwealth realm.” There were several problems along the way. Namely, commonwealth nations wanting out of the commonwealth, and “British empire” countries wanting to become republics. That and Boris Johnson’s horrid Rwanda scheme, where the British government was going to load immigrants into planes and “send them to Rwanda.” Charles made a point of being publicly and privately horrified by the scheme but the whole controversy cast a certain pallor over the CHOGM. Then, during his big speech, Charles tried to talk about slavery again.

Prince Charles has told Commonwealth leaders he cannot describe “the depths of his personal sorrow” at the suffering caused by the slave trade. Speaking in Rwanda, he said the potential of the family of nations could only be realised by acknowledging the wrongs that had “shaped our past”. Charles added it was up to states to decide if they remained monarchies or became republics in the future.

He met Boris Johnson, amid reports he was critical of his Rwanda asylum plan. But the prime minister refused to divulge what the pair discussed during their 15-minute meeting on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Chogm) – saying only they had a “good old chinwag”. Mr Johnson also refused to say whether the UK had already given Rwanda £120m for its participation in the scheme, but said: “I’m confident that it will produce value for money.”

In his speech, Prince Charles described how he was on a personal journey of discovery and was continuing to “deepen my own understanding of slavery’s enduring impact”. He said he was aware the roots of the Commonwealth organisation “run deep into the most painful period of our history” and said acknowledging the wrongs of the past was a “conversation whose time has come… I cannot describe the depths of my personal sorrow at the suffering of so many.”

[From BBC]

His “personal sorrow.” Not the monarchy’s official sorrow from profiteering from and facilitating slavery. This is just Charles saying “I’m super-sad about this, my dudes.” Once again, when it comes time for a royal to actually acknowledge their deadly, unconscionable failures, they cannot. Surprised Charles didn’t say something about “lessons have been learned.”

Photos courtesy of Instar.

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32 Responses to “Prince Charles spoke of his ‘personal sorrow’ of slavery during the CHOGM”

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  1. Noki says:

    I think it has been mentioned why they are so careful with the language they use every time they speak about slavery. But its still worth noting that the current royal family may be be several generations removed from members who took part in the slave trade and slavery they still benefit from it today,maybe they should find a way to at least acknowledge and ‘repair’ that.

  2. Eleonor says:

    If the Vatican apologised for the Inquisition they can apologise for the slavery.

    • IForget says:

      Yep, this is it.

    • SaraTor says:

      The Vatican also apologized to Indigenous First Nations in Canada for Residential schools, which abused thousands of children and committed cultural genocide. So if Pope Francis can do it, amid all the legal claims for reparations, the British Crown can do the same! They can easily side step reparations as a matter for the civilian elected government, not them.

      • DK says:

        Yeah, if the BRF has to “phrase things carefully” because direct acknowledgment might lead to them giving up (in the form of reparations) some of the enormous wealth they continue to accrue as a result a slavery, then they haven’t really learned anything and aren’t really sorry.

        Because every time they “phrase things carefully,” they are, in essence, saying “We do NOT want to stop benefitting financially from slavery.”

      • Eleonor says:

        Even the Vatican has a better PR game the BRF.
        (and I say it as a former Catholic who thinks the Vatican shouldn’t exist AT ALL)

    • duchessL says:

      Yes, and give the Kohinoor diamond back where it belongs!

  3. Hic says:

    This is why the Commonwealth is a joke and will be dismantled. Personal sorrow? I want the acknowledgment and apology by government and RF about slavery and destruction of my ancestors and creation of systematic structures designed to demoralize and dehumanize my people. Might I mention an apology (again) and reparations for you stole and continue to do so by establishing one of the greatest welfare organizations..the BRF. No gaslighting or personal sorrow will do.

    • Kels says:

      Unfortunately that won’t happen anytime soon as they just added two more African countries to the commonwealth during this summit. SMH

  4. Paulkid says:

    He needs to drop his “I’m so sensitive” performance and talk of the need for reparations. The royals can afford it, thanks to the countries and people they exploited. He also needs a dental whitening strip, again the funds are there. Put them to needed use!

    • Selene says:

      Yes to all of this! I sometimes fall gullible of Charles’ act of “sensitivity”; maybe he is, maybe he isn’t. However, he should be a king for the times, not just to preserve the monarchy. And to the whitening strips, “hear, hear!”

  5. Harla A Brazen Hussy says:

    Once any member of the BRF acknowledges that their family’s wealth and power was built by slaves and the slave trade, demands will flow to give it back to those they enslaved. So of course that will never happen and we’ll continue to get nothing but half-hearted platitudes.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      There utter refusal is disgusting at this point. They still feel perfectly entitled to what happened centuries ago as they still continued to commit crimes against those within the CW countries. By their own actions today, there is no actual remorse or genuine apology from any of them. They are still forcing deportations of the Windrush generations and refuse to grant anyone permanent residency.

      This is all smoke and mirrors as usual. Until they starting walking the walk, they are are empty, pathetic excuses for their grifter existence.

  6. Eurydice says:

    Can Charles speak for anyone other than himself at this point? I would think it was still up to the Queen to speak for the RF as a whole.

  7. equality says:

    That statement about needing to acknowledge the past sounds suspiciously similar to what PH said and was, of course, vilified for. He seems to be borrowing W&K’s always “learning” thing too.

    • C-Shell says:

      It is a tad surprising that Charles isn’t taking a different, stronger tack than Bulliam’s, if only to show himself to be a better king in waiting. 🤷‍♀️

  8. Lala11_7 says:

    His personal shame & sorrow isn’t reflected in the homogenized staff he & his family has…and THAT is a conscious choice…so he can keep his empty words

  9. Amy Bee says:

    Not good enough and some of the Commonwealth countries didn’t experience slavery but colonialism and nothing was mentioned about that. Very poor from Charles but not surprising.

  10. Catherine says:

    The media won’t criticize William or Charles for talking about slavery because they know the words are performative. They know that Harry actually wants to make changes that will better the lives of people who have been systemically oppressed. William’s most recent speech was given to dedicate a statue ‘honoring’ the windrush generation paid for by the UK government which is still currently deporting people from that generation. His whole speech was government sponsored gaslighting and whitewashing. Charles is very good at saying words that sound deep, meaningful and thoughtful. Meanwhile, he had nothing to say when his grandson was compared to a monkey and his daughter-in-law was subjected to sexist/racist abuse. He does a lot of philanthropic work that helps people of color but he has not lifted a figure to address the systemic, institutional, structural causes of racism. Nor addressed current racism. They both mainly speak in the past tense and in the passive voice.

  11. Mslove says:

    Having just read about a semi truck full of dead migrants in San Antonio, TX, should world governments be playing games with human lives? Moving them around like furniture. My god. This Rwanda scheme is the worst.

  12. Veda says:

    The British HoS or their representative I.e the royal family needs to apologise and make reparations for the destruction they have wrecked in the countries they colonised. It is not something just in the past. It’s effects are felt even today. Britain is still enjoying the fruits of the loot so they can’t hide under- oh that was our ancestors! You inherit both the wealth and debt of your ancestors.

  13. Jenny says:

    Could he give his personal money to help societies recover from slavery and mistreatment of indigenous population. This man’s fortune based on essentially war crimes. Pay Up Chuck. Seriously though this man should not be the head of the commonwealth. If it has any hope of surviving

  14. Bonsai Mountain says:

    Nobody cares about your personal sorrow, Charles. Reparations or shut up.

  15. JaneBee says:

    Left a long tin foil tiara comment on the earlier post on Charles calling for history of enslavement to be taught in schools.

    Something is definitely up with messaging coming out of Clarence House at the moment… It’s going to be very interesting to watch which direction Charles’ ‘woke’ narrative takes in coming weeks. I posed a few possible theories on the other thread. Would be interested to hear what others think…

    I wish someone would interview Hilary Mantel and get her take on latest RF goings on. Better yet, if she would start her own dedicated podcast on it.

    Assume there will be a separate Celebitchy post on Scottish independence referendum announcement, so will not thread jack here!

  16. Bisynaptic says:

    Chin-wagging has been done.

  17. Beverley says:

    So, Prince Charles is 73+ years old and STILL on a “personal journey of discovery” regarding the impact of the horrors and brutality of the British chattel slavery system?

    To be his age and still processing implies 70+ years of not giving a sh*t.

  18. jferber says:

    “Personal sorrow” doesn’t cut it, dude. It takes no responsibility. What he needs to say is, “My family enslaved peoples, plundered their natural resources and much of our wealth to this day was made off the backs of people we subjugated to benefit ourselves.” Then make reparations. That, they will never do. Down with the monarchy.

  19. Sour Pasoa says:

    Oh, I see Charles is still talking to move his lips, hmm!?