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King Charles condemns British colonialism in first major speech as monarch

King Charles III used his first speech to a foreign leader as the British monarch to condemn British colonialism

By Web Desk
November 23, 2022

file footage

King Charles III used his first major speech to a foreign leader as the British monarch to highlight his intent on acknowledging Britain’s shoddy history of colonialism and condemning it.

The 74-year-old monarch, who ascended the British throne in September this year after the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II, hosted his first state banquet as the King for South African president Cyril Ramaphosa.

During his welcoming speech, King Charles called for cooperation between Britain and South Africa despite the ‘wrongs which have shaped our past’, reported The Daily Mail.

Sharing how Britain’s colonial history with South Africa ‘provoked profound sorrow’ for him, King Charles said in his speech: “While there are elements of that history which provoke profound sorrow, it is essential that we seek to understand them.”

“As I said to Commonwealth leaders earlier this year, we must acknowledge the wrongs which have shaped our past if we are to unlock the power of our common future,” he added, with SA President Ramaphosa nodding.

King Charles went on to share how South Africa ‘has always been a part’ of his life like the Commonwealth, and also shed light on the late Queen’s relationship with past South African presidents.

“The late Queen had the great pleasure of hosting Presidents Mandela, Mbeki and Zuma for State Visits to the United Kingdom, at all of which I was present. On each of those occasions, she expressed her admiration for your country and its people, its vibrancy, natural beauty and diversity,” said King Charles.

He went on to add: “And she always talked warmly of her return to your country in 1995, as the guest of President Mandela, after the momentous events - driven from within South Africa and supported by so many around the world, including here in the United Kingdom - that brought democracy to your country.”

The speech marked a significant move from King Charles in his pronounced attempts to keep the Commonwealth together amid rising republican sentiment in different Commonwealth nations.