Britain’s Crown Prince Charles said during a visit to Rwanda that he regretted former slavery. In a speech to the leaders of the Commonwealth of Nations, the prince described it as “the most painful period in our history”.
In the Rwandan capital, Kigali, Charles said he finds it difficult to express his “personal depths of grief” over his slavery past. According to Charles, the potential of the Commonwealth can only be realized if the errors that “shaped our past” are acknowledged.
Charles added that it was up to the Commonwealth countries, formerly the British Commonwealth, to decide whether they wanted to remain a monarchy under Queen Elizabeth or become a republic. “I want to make it clear once again that each member decides for themselves about their constitutional arrangements, whether it’s a republic or a monarchy,” he said.
The 73-year-old British crown prince concluded, “The advantage of longevity is that I have experience that these kinds of arrangements can be changed quietly and without grudge.”
Criticism of the asylum plan
Charles also spoke with British Prime Minister Johnson in Kigali. The two represented the United Kingdom at the meeting of 54 countries of the Commonwealth chaired by Queen Elizabeth.
The conversation between the two came shortly after Charles criticized the asylum plan in Rwanda. The UK wants to send asylum seekers to Rwanda to await their asylum procedure there. The future king is said to have described the plan as “horrific” in private circles.
The Prime Minister did not say anything about what he had discussed with Charles. He just said it was an interesting conversation.
Johnson also declined to say whether Rwanda had received £120m for its participation in the controversial asylum scheme. Still, he said he was convinced the plan would “provide value for money”.
The Commonwealth Leaders Summit in 2020 and 2021 has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic and has not been held for four years.
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