King Charles III recently had a meeting with artists in Leeds who participated in the Worlds Re-imagined Globes project, which delves into the role Britain played in slavery. As reported by The Independent, Fiona Compton—a historian and artist who hails from St. Lucia—shared with Charles her Palace of the Peacock design which honors enslaved women who used poison as a way to resist.
Compton then told the press that the King was ready to address Britain’s role in the slave trade. She stated: “It’s an ongoing conversation, he says he is ready to speak on it.” Compton continued:
“He is ready to have these conversations and see what work can be done. We are not talking about reparations, this is not solely something for the British monarchy [to talk about], this is for the British people to have the conversations. He agrees, this is British history, it should not be hidden. In the same way we are speaking about the Holocaust, we should be open to speaking about Britain’s involvement in the slave trade.”
The conversation took center stage after Queen Elizabeth II passed away in September at the age of 96, leaving her son Charles as her heir. Though various celebrities, institutions and world leaders paid homage to the late Queen, people were quick to point out the history of the British monarchy, which included colonialism and slavery.
For some, however, Charles’ words just aren’t enough. When he and Camilla, Queen Consort, visited the city of York on Wednesday a protester (unsuccessfully) hurled at least three eggs at them and yelled: “This country was built on the blood of slaves!” Charles also faced protestors at the Queen’s funeral.