Prince William expressed 'sorrow' about slavery in Jamaica during a state dinner speech

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Prince William and Kate Middleton are currently on an eight day tour of the Caribbean. The royal couple have spent time in Belize, where they visited a cacao farm to learn about chocolate making, marvelled at ancient Mayan ruins and enjoyed some dancing.

However, by the time they arrived in Jamaica the trip was already proving controversial as protestors had gathered in Kingston the day before they landed calling for the monarchy to apologise for their history of colonialism and make slavery reparations.

During a state dinner on Wednesday evening, hosted by the governor general of Jamaica, Patrick Allen, William addressed the issues and expressed his 'sorrow'.

He said: 'I strongly agree with my father, the Prince of Wales, who said in Barbados last year that the appalling atrocity of slavery forever stains our history.

'I want to express my profound sorrow - slavery was abhorrent and it should never have happened. While the pain runs deep, Jamaica continues to forge its future with determination, courage, and fortitude.'

Barbados became a republic in November last year, and according to BAZAAR Jamaica will start the process of removing the Queen as head of state after William and Kate's visit with hopes that it will be complete by their 60th Independence Day on 6th August.

William also acknowledged the United Nations International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, which is on Friday, and spoke about the Windrush generation's 'immense contribution' to Britain.

He said: 'The strength and shared sense of purpose of the Jamaican people, represented in your flag and motto, celebrate an invincible spirit.

'It is this same spirit that spurred on the Windrush generation, who came to the United Kingdom to help rebuild after the Second World War. We are forever grateful for the immense contribution that this generation and their descendants have made to British life, which continues to enrich and improve our society.'

The royal couple are due to travel to the Bahamas today, before heading back to the UK.

Jadie Troy-Pryde
News Editor

Jadie Troy-Pryde is News Editor, covering celebrity and entertainment, royal, lifestyle and viral news. Before joining the team in 2018 as the Lifestyle and Social Media Editor, she worked at a number of women’s fashion and lifestyle titles including Grazia, Women’s Health and Stylist, and now heads the Marie Claire UK news desk.