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UK’s Prince William thanks ‘Windrush’ generation at memorial unveiling

The British royal family on Wednesday paid tribute to the ‘Windrush generation’ at the unveiling of a statue commemorating the arrival of post-war migrants from the Caribbean, as the government again apologized for their recent bad treatments.

Exactly 74 years ago, the ship Empire Windrush arrived in London, bringing the first of hundreds of thousands of people who came to Britain between 1948 and 1971 to help rebuild the country after World War II.

However, in 2018 Britain apologized for its ‘appalling’ handling of the Windrush generation, after a tightening of immigration policy meant thousands of people were denied basic rights despite the fact that they had been living in Britain for decades, and dozens were wrongfully deported.

“Without all of you, Britain simply wouldn’t be what it is today,” Prince William, grandson of Queen Elizabeth, said at the unveiling of the National Windrush Monument at the station. from Waterloo to London.

“I want to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone in this generation and the generations that followed.”

The Queen also released a statement to thank the Windrush pioneers, while Chief Minister Michael Gove said the government was sorry for its mistakes.

“Words cannot compensate for the pain and anguish caused, but lessons have been learned,” he said.

Many of those who came to Britain found jobs in the National Health Service or in public transport, but also faced racism, as Prince William admitted.

“Discrimination remains an all too familiar experience for black men and women in Britain in 2022,” he said.

William and wife Kate’s own Caribbean tour in March was overshadowed by protests over Britain’s role in slavery and criticism that it reflected a throwback to colonial times.

“Our trip was a time to reflect and we learned a lot,” he said. “Not just on the various issues that matter most to people in the region, but also on how the past weighs heavily on the present.”

“Only a few years ago, tens of thousands of people of this generation were deeply wronged by the Windrush scandal. This rightly reverberates throughout the Caribbean community here in the UK as well as in many Caribbean countries .”

(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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