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Activists speculate bonds of slavery may prompt King to “fund scholarships for grandchildren”


Yesterday, a prominent activist predicted that the king’s support for studying the monarchy’s links to slavery would lead to him funding scholarships for the descendants of slaves.

Former BBC correspondent Laura Trevelyan – whose family donated £100,000 this year as an apology for their ancestral slave ownership – said Charles’ support for the research was a “welcome first step in the recognition process”.

She said he would need to consider whether he should apologize for the involvement of former British monarchs in the transatlantic slave trade.

She added, “I can see the King, who has shown himself to be very philanthropic through the Prince Trust, funding scholarships and educational opportunities aimed at the descendants of slaves in Britain and the Caribbean.”

Her comments follow warnings that Charles’ support for academic research by the University of Manchester and historic royal palaces could open the door for the royal family to face demands for damages or damages.

King Charles III is expected to wait for the results of the academic study before deciding on his response.

Buckingham Palace announced Thursday that it is collaborating on a landmark study on the royal family’s historical involvement in the transatlantic slave trade, and said the monarch took the issue “very seriously.”

The Trevelyan family made a public apology this year after it emerged that their ancestors owned more than 1,000 slaves on plantations on the island of Grenada. They donated £100,000 to set up the University of the West Indies Compensation Research Fund.

The family also called on the government to enter into negotiations with the authorities in the Caribbean over national reparations for Britain’s role in the slave trade.

Trevelyan, 54, who left the BBC to join the Caribbean Fight for Restorative Justice full-time, welcomed the King’s support for the study project.

“The King’s support for research into the Royal Family’s links to slavery is a welcome first step in the recognition process,” she wrote on Twitter. Then the King will consider how best to respond. I apologize to the descendants of enslaved in the Caribbean and Britain? ‘

After the palace’s announcement this week, there were immediate calls from campaigners in the Caribbean for talks. But royal sources said the issue of paying compensation or making charitable donations was “completely speculative”.

The king is waiting for the results of the academic study before deciding on his response.

Set in 2026, the three-year project is expected to investigate the former rulers’ involvement with slave-trading companies, including the Royal African Company and its Lieutenant-Governor Edward Colston, whose statue in Bristol Harbor was toppled by anti-racism campaigners.

Former BBC correspondent Laura Trevelyan said Charles' support for the research was

Former BBC correspondent Laura Trevelyan said Charles’ support for the research was a “welcome first step in the recognition process”.

Historians welcomed the decision to open the Royal Archives and Royal Collection to researchers for study, but said Charles needed to move on.

Professor Trevor Burnard, director of the Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation at the University of Hull, said: ‘What needs to happen is for the king to take some responsibility for the personal relationships that bind his family to this history, which is very well established.

And that means doing what other institutions have done: acknowledging what happened, and examining what you will do in response. This goes beyond supporting further research.

Last month, The Guardian published an apology after revealing the involvement of nine of its first 11 backers in the slave trade through the textiles and cotton industries, including its founding editor John Edward Taylor.

The Scott Trust, which owns the newspaper, has promised to invest more than £10m to improve the lives of black people in Britain and the rest of the world.

The National Trust was accused of following a “wake-up” agenda when it released a report investigating connections between its property and colonialism, including slavery. English Heritage has updated the online entries for Blue Plate recipients to include links to the slave trade.

Charles had previously condemned the trade as “a terrible atrocity”. Activists called for Britain to write off the debts owed to it by countries affected by slavery, and to lift visa restrictions on the descendants of slaves.

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