'Bare minimum!' US host slams Prince William's lack of 'ownership' on slavery issue

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Prince William expressed “profound sorrow” about the slave trade in a speech during dinner hosted by the governor-general of Jamaica during his and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge’s recent tour of the Carribean. Royal expert Omid Scobie and podcast host Kristen Meinzer have questioned whether the Duke should have gone further on the issue of slavery.

Omid Scobie told the Royal Report podcast: “What surprised me most about that speech was the fact that William had had a chance to really prepare for that moment.

“From what we understand, it was a sort of change or an addition to a speech that had already been written because of what was going on with protests and the coverage that had followed the image with the fence and of course, the parade or have whatever you want to call it.

“I think at this point, it was almost not enough to skim over the issue by referring to something your father had said before.

“Now we have to think of the background to this trip, Kensington Palace has spent the past four years briefing and speaking about William in the role of William the statesman, and we hear it over and over again.

“I think that this trip was one of the rare opportunities that he had to show that, at times, improvising along the way as things change.

“But there was a sort of hesitancy to break away from what had already been planned and to do anything radically different.

“So those couple of sentences in the speech were the absolute minimum.”

Podcast host Kristen Meinzer added: “I personally feel that saying this is a missed opportunity is an understatement. 

“In my opinion, what he said was essentially, you know, I want to express sorrow that slavery happened.This is never okay.

“But that’s the bare minimum. We all know slavery is not okay,” she continued.

“He was not speaking in the first person. 

“He was speaking in the passive voice.”

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She added: “He was essentially just kind of referencing my dad has said this before, but not taking ownership in any way whatsoever of the role that the British Royal Family has played in slavery.”

The tour of the Caribbean was met with criticism as it inadvertently shone a light on the colonialist past of the British Empire.

The Royals were met with anti-colonialist protests and calls for slavery reparations from the monarchy.

Photos of the visit sparked a social media backlash, as images of the couple shaking hands with Jamaican children through a chain-link fence and standing in an open-topped Land Rover dressed in white harkened back to the island’s colonial past



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