A discussion involving the Royal Family and whether they owed reparations for slavery got pretty heated on The Jeremy Vine Show this morning.
Appearing on the show, Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu discussed Prince William’s failure to address the Royal Family’s role in colonialism and slavery, insisting they ‘still need to pay something.’
During The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Caribbean tour, which has sparked protests from Jamaicans, Prince William described the slave trade as ‘abhorrent’ but avoided discussing his family’s role in it, nor directly apologised.
While he said he felt ‘profound sorrow’ and described the slave trade as an ‘appalling atrocity’ that ‘stains our history’, critics were keen to note that the future king did not directly apologise, including Dr Shola on today’s Jeremy Vine Show.
Dr Shola argued that Prince William’s speech was simply not enough, as she insisted the Royal Family must pay further reparations to anyone affected by their ancestors’ conduct.
And during her explanation of her views, which Jeremy attempted to interrupt several times, things got pretty heated, as Dr Shola said: ‘I don’t care if it’s £300 million or billion – Britain cannot possibly afford to pay back what it owes to African nations. It owes far more.’
‘Why should he apologise when he wasn’t there?’ Jeremy had prompted, before reading out viewer-comments which supported the Royal Family’s lack of reparations, with one suggesting Britain paying reparations to colonised countries can be compared to Italy having to pay reparations for the Romans.
Responding to a call-in about whether the Royal Family owe apologies, Dr Shola explained: ‘What people from colonised countries want is more than an apology.’
‘The legacy of slavery and colonisation is still impacting the lives of black people today, so when you say things like “Why should we apologise, we weren’t there,” what the heck is wrong with people when you are benefitting economically, politically, financially…’
‘I hear you’, Jeremy said as he cut her off. ‘It’s really important, but we also want to hear from callers.’
Earlier in the show, Dr Shola had also pointed out how Prince William’s lack of apology likened to his father Charles not apologising during his trip to witness Barbados become a republic.
Viewers were left divided, as some controversially stated that the Royal Family did not owe apologies on behalf of their ancestors, whilst others supported Dr Shola’s comments.
One person wrote: ‘Dr. Shola, as a person of colour, you make me exceedingly proud!!! Thanks sis!!!’ while another added to the explanation: ‘They still inherit the wealth and it is passed down. So yeh it is still going on.’
‘Educating them whilst still looking fabulous!!!’ a viewer wrote.
Jeremy Vine airs weekdays from 9.15am on Channel 5.