King Charles faces cash demands over slavery by Caribbean nationsSeptember 11, 2023
King Charles faces cash demands over slavery as Caribbean nations prepare to ask the Royal Family for reparations by the end of the year
- Church of England, Lloyd’s of London and wealthy universities also in crosshairs
Caribbean nations will make formal demands to the Royal Family for slavery reparations by the end of the year, it has been reported.
Rather than trying to negotiate inter-governmental agreements, several nations want to put their case directly to descendants of those thought to have benefited from slavery, including King Charles.
The Church of England, Lloyd’s of London and wealthy universities are also in the crosshairs, according to Arley Gill, chairman of the Grenada National Reparations Committee.
‘We are hoping that King Charles will revisit the issue of reparations and make a more profound statement, beginning with an apology, and that he would make resources from the Royal Family available for reparative justice,’ he told the Daily Telegraph.
‘He should make some money available. We are not saying that he should starve himself and his family, and we are not asking for trinkets. But we believe we can sit around a table and discuss what can be made available for reparative justice.’
Rather than trying to negotiate inter-governmental agreements, several nations want to put their case directly to descendants of those thought to have benefited from slavery, including King Charles
The campaign has been given impetus by the decision of former BBC correspondent Laura Trevelyan (pictured) to donate money and apologise to the people of Grenada for her family’s role in the historic slave trade
The Reparations Commission for St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) intends to start issuing formal demands for reparations by the end of this year, it was claimed. The Royal Family is also likely to be squarely in the sights of SVG, which like Grenada was a British colony.
Its reparation commission chairman, Adrian Odle, said that ‘every property that the Royal Family is in possession of has the scent of slavery’.
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The campaign has been given impetus by the decision of former BBC correspondent Laura Trevelyan to donate money and apologise to the people of Grenada for her family’s role in the historic slave trade.
‘My family, the Trevelyans, owned about 1,000 slaves on five different sugar plantations in Grenada in the 17th and 18th centuries’, she said last year.
‘When slavery was abolished in 1834, our family received compensation from the British government for the loss of our property, as part of 46,000 UK claims made to the Slave Compensation Commission. We received about £3 million in today’s money. The enslaved got nothing.’
One of the Royal Family’s most often cited links to slavery was the Royal African Company, which enslaved and transported hundreds of thousands from Africa to the Americas.
Earlier this year, the Guardian published a 1689 transfer of shares in the Royal African Company from Bristol merchant and slave trader Edward Colston to King William III.
King Charles last year said he felt ‘personal sorrow at the suffering of so many’, but he did not go so far as an apology.
However, he has never publicly ruled out reparations.
The Dutch king, Willem-Alexander, has apologised for the Netherlands’ involvement in slavery, saying he ‘felt the weight of the words in my heart and my soul’.
King Charles is said to be interested in understanding the results of an academic study exploring the relationship between the British monarchy and the slave trade in the 17th and 18th centuries.
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