Prince Charles recently addressed his country’s legacy of slavery, but fell short of apologizing.
According to CNN, on June 24, said during the opening speech at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kigali, "While we strive together for peace, prosperity and democracy I want to acknowledge that the roots of our contemporary association run deep into the most painful period of our history. I cannot describe the depths of my personal sorrow at the suffering of so many, as I continue to deepen my own understanding of slavery's enduring impact. "
He also said the Commonwealth needs to "find new ways to acknowledge our past. Quite simply, this is a conversation whose time has come. Your Excellencies, conversations start with listening."
The Royal Family has never issued a former apology for slavery. Additionally, there are currently 15 countries that recognize Queen Elizabeth II as head of state. Prince Charles addressed this saying, "The Commonwealth contains within it countries that have had constitutional relationships with my family, some that continue to do so, and increasingly those that have had none. I want to say clearly, as I have said before, that each member's constitutional arrangement, as republic or monarchy, is purely a matter for each member country to decide."
Earlier this year, in a trip to Jamaica, Prince William, Charles’ son, described the slave trade as “abhorrent” and expressed “profound sorrow,” but, similar to his father, did not apologize for his ancestors’ role in it. Their visit was meant as pushback from local protesters calling to move away from colonial ties to the United Kingdom.