Prince Charles sends message of thanks to Britain’s Caribbean community for their contribution to life in the UK

‘The diversity of our society is its greatest strength and gives us so much to celebrate,’ says Prince of Wales

Prince Charles sends message of thanks to Britain's Caribbean community for their contribution to life in the UK

The Prince of Wales has released a video message thanking Britain’s Caribbean community for their contribution to the UK.

Prince Charles released the message on Monday 22 June, which marks the third Windrush Day in honour of the 72nd anniversary of the SS Empire Windrush arriving in Britain in 1948.

The video was published on Twitter by Clarence House.

“They came to lend their hard work and skill to a country rebuilding in peacetime,” the Prince said.

“And to forge a better future for themselves and their families.”

Prince Charles went on to praise the Windrush generation’s “profound and permanent contribution to British life” and the “debt of gratitude” they are owed.

The Royal went on to honour those who have been working as key workers during the pandemic, and thanked them for ”the way they carry out their onerous duties”.

Prince Charles continued: “The black community has been hit particularly hard by this pernicious virus”.

Speaking directly to those who have lost loved ones due to Covid-19, Prince Charles said: “I can only convey my most profound sympathy”.

Prince Charles recalled a visit he made three years ago to the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton with the Duchess of Cornwall, which he described as an “inspiring place”.

“It offers a compelling reminder that our society is woven from diverse threads, drawn from so many parts of the world, which strengthen and enrich the fabric of our national life,” he said.

“Recognising the rich diversity of cultures which make this country so special – and in many ways unique – lies in the heart of what we can be as a nation.”

Home Office showed 'institutional ignorance and thoughtlessness' towards race Windrush report finds

Prince Charles went on to read the poem Benediction by James Berry, which includes lines such as "Thanks to the ear that someone may hear" and "Thanks to feeling that someone may feel".

He concluded: "Today, as we honour the legacy of the Windrush generation and the invaluable contribution of Black people in Britain, I dearly hope that we can continue to listen to each other's stories and to learn from one another.

"The diversity of our society is its greatest strength and gives us so much to celebrate."

In 2018, the Windrush Scandal saw hundreds of Caribbean immigrants living and working in the UK wrongly targeted by immigration enforcement as a result of the government’s “hostile environment” policies.

As a result, many elderly people were suddenly being barred from working, refused access to government services, and lost access to welfare benefits.

In some cases, they were even detained and deported. Read more about the scandal and how it unfolded here.

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