Prince William was candid about history never repeating itself again while speaking to a crowd on Wednesday, March 23. While on tour of the Caribbean, the 39-year-old prince spoke at the official dinner in Jamaica, which was held at the residence of the Governor-General of Jamaica, Sir Patrick Allen, who represents Queen Elizabeth.
"I want to express my profound sorrow. Slavery was abhorrent. And it should never have happened," he said in his speech. "While the pain runs deep, Jamaica continues to forge its future with determination, courage and fortitude. The strength and shared sense of purpose of the Jamaican people, represented in your flag and motto, celebrate an invincible spirit."
Last year, Prince Charles visited Barbados — the country recently cut ties with the U.K. — where he spoke about the "appalling atrocity of slavery, which forever stains our history."
William said he "strongly" agreed with his father's remarks.
That same day, Jamaica's Prime Minister Andrew Holness declared that his country would no longer be under Queen Elizabeth's rule.
"We're very, very happy to have you and we hope you've received a warm welcome of the people," Holness said. "Jamaica is a very free and liberal country and the people are very expressive —and I'm certain that you would have seen the spectrum of expressions yesterday," he said, referring to a recent protest.
"There are issues here, which as you know, are unresolved, but your presence gives us an opportunity for those issues to be placed in context, to be out front and center and to be addressed as best we can. But Jamaica is, as you would see, is a country that is proud of its history and very proud of what we have achieved. And we're moving on and we intend to … fulfill our true ambitions and destiny to become an independent, developed and prosperous country," he continued.
Though William and Kate Middleton were in the country for a short period of time, he has fond memories of the trip.
"Already in our short time here, Catherine and I are delighted to have felt what Bob Marley described so many years ago – the spirit of 'one love' that Jamaica has given to the world and which makes this country so special," he shared.
William also touched upon how his grandmother loves the island, too. "It is no secret that the Queen has a deep affection for Jamaica, forged on her very first visit here with my grandfather, The Duke of Edinburgh, in 1953," he said. "And, likewise, I have been touched to hear today from Jamaicans, young and old, about their affection for The Queen."
"She may be my actual grandmother, but everyone counts her as their grandmother, too," he quipped. "And I'm OK with that!"