The Duke of Cambridge has said racism “remains an all too familiar experience for black men and women in Britain in 2022”, as he attended the unveiling of the national Windrush monument.
On Wednesday, Prince William and his wife the Duchess of Cambridge visited Waterloo Station in London to see the reveal of the statue – depicting a man, woman and child in their Sunday best standing on top of suitcases – to mark Windrush Day.
Delivering the speech, the royal paid tribute to the Windrush generation’s “enormous contribution”, stating “every part of British life is better” because of them.
Reflecting on his and his wife’s recent visit to the Caribbean, Prince William said it served as an opportunity to “reflect” and “learn” about issues facing black men and women, and “how the past weighs heavily on the present”.
He added: “Sadly, that is also the case for members of the Windrush Generation who 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.”
The Queen also paid tribute to “Windrush pioneers and their descendants” in a written statement.
The monarch wrote: “The unveiling at Waterloo Station on Windrush Day serves as a fitting thank you to the Windrush pioneers and their descendants, in recognition of the profound contribution they have made to the United Kingdom over the decades.
“It is my hope that the memorial will serve to inspire present and future generations, and I send you my warmest good wishes on this historic occasion.”