William also acknowledged the hurt caused by the Windrush scandal (Picture: Getty)
Prince William acknowledged racism was an ‘all too familiar’ experience for black people in modern Britain during a speech to mark the unveiling of a new Windrush statue.
The national monument pays tribute to the thousands of people who arrived in the UK from Caribbean countries between 1948 and 1971, to help rebuild after the Second World War.
It depicts a man, woman and child in their Sunday best standing on top of suitcases, and was unveiled in Waterloo Station to coincide with Windrush Day.
The Duke of Cambridge, who attended the unveiling alongside wife Kate and members of the Windrush generation, said the nation would be poorer without their efforts.
‘We know without question that the Windrush generation have made our culture richer, our services stronger, and our fellow countrymen safer,’ the future King said.
Prince William and Kate accompanied by Baroness Floella Benjamin and Windrush passengers Alford Gardner and John Richards (Picture: PA)
The statue has been unveiled to mark Windrush Day 2022 (Picture: Getty)
Prince William acknowledged that members of the Windrush generation faced racism and discrimination when they arrived in the UK to plug labour shortages 75 years ago, and said this still prevails today.
He also addressed the hurt and pain caused by the Windrush scandal.
In 1971, an Immigration Act was passed giving all Commonwealth citizens already living in the UK indefinite leave to remain.
But due to a lack of official documentation, many were told they were in the country illegally despite living and working here for decades.
This saw members of the Windrush generation held in detention centres, denied legal rights, threatened with deportation and in some cases wrongly deported.
Thousands of people who arrived in the UK from Caribbean countries between 1948 and 1971 (Picture: AP)
(Left to right) Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove, Windrush passenger Alford Gardner, The Duke of Cambridge and Baroness Floella Benjamin (Picture: PA)
The statue acknowledges the Windrush generation’s ‘outstanding contribution’ to British society (Picture: Getty)
William said: ‘Sadly.. members of the Windrush generation (were) victims of racism when they arrived here, and discrimination remains an all too familiar experience for black men and women in Britain in 2022.
‘Only a matter of years ago, tens of thousands of that generation were profoundly wronged by the Windrush scandal.
‘That rightly reverberates throughout the Caribbean community here in the UK as well as many in the Caribbean nations.
‘Therefore, alongside celebrating the diverse fabric of our families, our communities and our society as a whole – something the Windrush generation has contributed so much to – it is also important to acknowledge the ways in which the future they sought and deserved has yet to come to pass.
‘Diversity is what makes us strong, and it is what reflects the modern, outward-looking values that are so important to our country.’
William’s speech comes after his controversial tour …read more
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