King Charles supports study into royal family slavery links
King Charles is supporting an independent study into the British monarchy’s links to the slave trade in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Buckingham Palace is working with the University of Manchester and Historic Royal Palaces to grant full access to the Royal Archives and the Royal Collection for the PhD project, expected to be completed in 2026.
The King and the Prince of Wales have both expressed their personal sorrow over the suffering caused by the slave trade. The King wishes to continue his commitment to deepening his understanding of the impact of slavery since his accession.
A Palace statement was issued in response to the Guardian, which has published a previously unseen document showing the 1689 transfer of shares in the slave-trading Royal African Company from Edward Colston – the slave trader and the company’s deputy governor – to King William III.
The study will investigate any investments made by the monarchy in slave trading companies. In addition, the King believes each Commonwealth country should make its own decision about whether to remain a constitutional monarchy or become a republic, acknowledging the Commonwealth’s roots in the painful period of history and calling for a conversation on acknowledging past wrongs.