Kensington Palace in the UK.


Richard Young / REX / SIPA

She joins many institutions questioning their past in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The association in charge of maintaining six of the British royal palaces has launched an investigation into the links of these residences to slavery.

“We have been thinking a lot and planning all kinds of changes.

Now is the time, ”her curator Lucy Worsley said in an interview with The

Times on


The investigation will look into the past of some of the most famous British buildings, such as the iconic Tower of London or even Kensington Palace, the London residence of Prince William and his wife Kate.

The role of the Stuart dynasty

"Everything that is connected with the Stuart dynasty will involve money derived from slavery," said the historian, famous presenter of historical programs on the BBC.

The Stuarts played an important role in the slave trade, King Charles II authorizing in 1663 the creation of what would become the Royal African Company, which until 1698 held a complete monopoly on the slave trade. .

The company, which did not stop trading in slaves until 1731, was founded by Jacques II, brother of Charles II, who himself subsequently ascended the throne.

Many monuments linked to slavery

In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement after the death of George Floyd, disputes, questions and introspection have spread in the United Kingdom around the colonial past of the country and its representation.

This has sometimes given rise to tensions in British society.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson in particular denounced “extremists” and called for not “censoring the past” after demonstrations leading to the unbolting of statues.

In mid-September, the National Trust, an association responsible for the conservation of great British sites, had indicated that a third of the historic monuments for which it was responsible had links to colonialism or slavery.

Among the 93 monuments concerned, we find for example Chartwell, the home of Winston Churchill in Kent.


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