Thursday, December 8, 2022

King Charles’ first major speech challenges British colonialism

In his first major address as monarch, Charles III condemned Britain’s colonial past.

The 74-year-old king, who took over from his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, in September, went to Cyril Ramaphosa’s first state banquet.

King Charles appealed for collaboration between Britain and South Africa despite “past wrongs,” The Daily Mail reported.

In his speech, King Charles said Britain’s colonial relationship with South Africa “provoked tremendous grief.”

As Obama told Commonwealth leaders earlier this year, “we must address the wrongs that moulded our history to unlock the promise of our collective future.”

King Charles said South Africa, like the Commonwealth, has always been a part of his life. He also discussed the late Queen’s ties with prior South African leaders.

“The late Queen hosted Presidents Mandela, Mbeki, and Zuma for state visits to the UK, which I attended.” Each time, she praised your country’s people, energy, natural beauty, and diversity, “remarked King Charles.

“She always spoke lovingly of her return to your country in 1995 as President Mandela’s guest, after the monumental events that gave democracy to your country, pushed from within South Africa and supported by so many throughout the world, including here in the UK,” he said.

The speech was King Charles’s latest attempt to keep the Commonwealth together in the face of growing support for independence. 

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