King Charles has for the first time signaled his support for research into the British monarchy’s historical links with transatlantic slavery, after the emergence of a document showing a predecessor’s stake in a slave-trading company.
Buckingham Palace said that it is co-operating with an independent study exploring the relationship between the British monarchy and the slave trade in the 17th and 18th centuries.
The research is being carried out by the University of Manchester with full access to the Royal Archives and the Royal Palaces.
The study, a PhD project by historian Camilla de Koning, is expected to be completed in 2026.
Both the King and the Prince of Wales have previously expressed their personal sorrow at the suffering caused by the slave trade.
The King wants to continue his pledge to deepen his understanding of slavery’s impact with “vigour and determination” since his accession, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said.
They continued: “This is an issue that His Majesty takes profoundly seriously.”
“Given the complexities of the issues it is important to explore them as thoroughly as possible.”
He said he was aware the roots of the Commonwealth organisation “run deep into the most painful period of our history” and said acknowledging the wrongs of the past was a “conversation whose time has come”.
The PhD study is co-sponsored by Historic Royal Palaces which manages several sites.
It started in October, one month after the King came to the throne.
It will look into the extent of any investments from any other slave trading companies.