Prince Charles will not apologise for UK’s role in slave trade
Prince Charles will today tackle the ‘abject horror’ of Britain’s role in slavery in a speech he’s set to deliver in Ghana.
Although he will not make a full apology for what he describes as an ‘indelible stain’, he will not avoid Britain’s involvement in the trade UK Dailymail reported.
Charles and Camilla are on a four-day tour to strengthen trade relations with Ghana and support community projects. On the last leg of the visit, the Prince of Wales will speak at the International Conference Centre at the invitation of President Nana Akufo-Addo.
While he will mainly use it to pay tribute to Ghana’s role in the Commonwealth, Charles was keen to reference the slave trade in Ghana and Britain and Europe’s role in it.
He also wanted to use the occasion to highlight Britain’s determination to tackle modern slavery.
The prince was visibly moved by a visit to Fort Christiansborg in Osu, a suburb of the capital Accra, during which he was told of its chilling history.
Built in 1661, the fort also known as Osu Castle was used by the Danes to hold slaves before they were sent to the New World.
In the 19th century, it became the headquarters of the local British government.
The Danes once housed and processed more than 1.5million African slaves at the castle, out of the six million human beings traded from West Africa.
During a visit to the fort, Charles walked down the spiral staircase used by slaves on their final journey to the adjoining beach, where they were loaded on to ships.
The staircase was designed to be so narrow that slaves could only walk in single file, stopping them overpowering Danish traders.
At the bottom were dungeons in which enslaved Africans were kept for up to six months as they awaited transportation.
During a sombre moment in searing heat, Charles paused at the foot of the stairs, known as ‘the door of no return’, to reflect on the fort’s horrific past.
In his speech today, he is expected to say: ‘The histories of our two nations are closely intertwined, and while today we enjoy the shared opportunity, we can never forget that our past has sometimes borne witness to tragedy and loss and, at times, profound injustice. At Osu Castle, it was especially important to me 1as indeed it was on my first visit there 41 years ago that I should acknowledge the most painful chapter of Ghana’s relations with the nations of Europe, including the United Kingdom. The appalling atrocity of the slave trade, and the unimaginable suffering it caused left an indelible stain on the history of our world.
‘While Britain can be proud that it later led the way in the abolition of this shameful trade, we have a shared responsibility to ensure that the abject horror of slavery is never forgotten, that we abhor the existence of modern slavery and that we robustly promote and defend the values which today make it incomprehensible, to most of us, that human beings could ever treat each other with such utter inhumanity.’
Charles will also pay tribute to the strength of the relationship between the UK and Ghana.
He is keen to highlight the country’s role in the Commonwealth and stress how, by acting within the organisation, it can play an important role over environmental issues and rapid urbanisation.
He will also acknowledge Ghana as an example to the region and to the world of a stable democracy, a beacon of tolerance and diversity.
In his speech, the prince is expected to say: ‘The Commonwealth should strive for renewed relevance in the lives of its citizens and should draw upon its unparalleled networks of professional expertise, to offer practical solutions to some of the most pressing challenges of our time, many of which are increasingly deep-seated and deeply integrated.
‘No issue is more pressing than that of climate change.’