King Charles supports research into royal links to slavery

An independent research project will look into any links between the monarchy and slavery.

King Charles supports research into royal links to slavery
King Charles supports research into royal links to slavery


Britain's King Charles III announced his support for research into the monarchy's historical links to slavery, Buckingham Palace said on Thursday.

Academics will be granted access to royal archives

A month ahead of his coronation, the palace said that academics would be given greater access to royal archives, and that Charles takes the issue "profoundly seriously".

Buckingham Palace said the royal family would support an independent research project looking into any links between the monarchy and slavery during the late seventeenth and eighteenth-centuries, by allowing access to the Royal Collection and the Royal Archives.

"Given the complexities of the issues it is important to explore them as thoroughly as possible," the Palace statement said. "It is expected that the research will conclude in September 2026."

New discoveries reignite discussion

The Guardian reported that an archived document discovered by historian Brooke Newman showed that in 1689 King William III had been given 1,000 pounds worth of shares in the Royal African Company (RAC), which became a brutal pioneer of the transatlantic slave trade.

Edward Colston, a merchant and slave trade magnate, was the signatory of the recently discovered document. His history became widely known after protesters pulled down a statue of him in Bristol and threw it in the harbor in 2020 during Black Lives Matter protests.

Prior to King William III, King James II was the largest investor in the Royal African Company.

So far, there has been no apology from the prior heir to the throne for the royal family's involvement in the slave trade.

Calls for possible reparations for the British Empire's slavery links have been growing in the Caribbean where a number of countries such as Jamaica and the Bahamas remain with Charles as their head of state.

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