Prince William spoke out against slavery in a speech yesterday, March 23, during an evening dinner in Jamaica hosted by the Governor-General of Jamaica.
Note: this is the second post of the day, covering the evening events of Day 5 of the Caribbean tour. You can find coverage of the day events here.Embed from Getty Images
KP didn’t release the full transcript of William’s speech, but I’m including the transcript from a Daily Mail, and I’ve included a video below (his speech begins at 1:20). (Both the DM article and the video are missing parts of the speech, but I haven’t been able to find a better alternative).
‘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. 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. I’m delighted that a national monument acknowledging and celebrating the Windrush generation by Jamaican artist, Basil Watson, will be unveiled later this year in Waterloo Station in London.’ […]
During the emotional speech, William also said he and his wife were ‘very pleased’ to be on our first official visit to Jamaica, adding: ‘All my family have enjoyed their visits here so much. They have waxed lyrical about the warmth and sense of fun of the Jamaican people and the beauty of this island. Already in our short time here, Catherine and I are delighted to have felt what Bob Marley described so many years ago – the spirit of ‘One love’ that Jamaica has given to the world and which makes this country so special.
‘I’m particularly pleased tonight to convey the very best wishes from my grandmother, The Queen of Jamaica, on the occasion of her Platinum Jubilee. It is no secret that The Queen has a deep affection for Jamaica, forged on her very first visit here with my grandfather, The Duke of Edinburgh, in 1953. And likewise I have been touched to hear today from Jamaicans, young and old, about their affection for The Queen.
‘Her dedication, commitment, and sense of duty to the Commonwealth family is deeply admired. She may be my actual grandmother, but everyone counts her as their grandmother too. And I’m ok with that! And of course, as The Queen marks seventy years on the throne, this is also a very special year for Jamaica, as you celebrate your sixtieth anniversary of independence. Now that’s double the excuse for a party!’Daily Mail
Not gonna lie, William said more against slavery than I thought he would – which goes to show how low I had set the bar.
I, as a white American woman, am not going to sit here and decide what is and is not good enough of an apology for the Atlantic slave trade, but I must say I think his comments are extremely vague.
“[T]he appalling atrocity of slavery forever stains our history. I want to express my profound sorrow. Slavery was abhorrent. And it should never have happened.”
Slavery existed for thousands of years before the Atlantic slave trade; it existed in Ancient Greece and Rome. It still exists today in various forms. But the Atlantic slave trade was on a whole different level.
William’s generic comment that “slavery was abhorrent” is not addressing the specific atrocities that occurred with the Atlantic slave trade, nor does it support or understand what the people of Jamaica faced and continue to face because of it.
Having said that, I don’t think an apology should come from William at this event. I think that apology needs to come from the UK government and the Head of State. However, William could have addressed his apology from himself. He could have talked more in depth about how he feels about this topic, how sorry he is as a person, and what it means to him to support the people of Jamaica. And he didn’t.Embed from Getty Images
Now for the hardest and most awkward of turns, into fashion.Embed from Getty Images
Kate looked marvelous in this green Jenny Packham gown. There’s a lot of fuss going on up top, but I think it balances the fullness of the skirt well. It’s very beautiful.Embed from Getty Images
The best part of the outfit, though, is seeing more of The Queen’s jewels in action. Kate wore, for the first time, the earrings and bracelet from the Emerald Tassel Parure. These pieces were last seen on The Queen in 2012 for the Order of the Thistle Service.Embed from Getty Images
Kate also wore the Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II and the star from the Royal Victorian Order.Embed from Getty Images
Departing from her traditional updo, Kate went with something much sleeker in the front, which I thought looked very nice.Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images