King Charles urged to speed up slavery apology: 'How long is this reign going to last?'

Watch: Charles urged to hurry up and apologise for slavery ties

There is an ongoing debate about how the Royal Family - and King Charles in particular - should handle its historic ties to slavery and colonialism.

Calls demanding the royals take accountability for their links have intensified in recent months, with some asking for an official apology and others saying financial reparations should be considered.

Earlier this month, Charles signalled some support around the issue and said he would allow a historian access to the royal archives as part of a research project being undertaken by Historic Royal Palaces.

During a discussion about the Royal Family's colonial past on Yahoo's 'Future of the Monarchy' panel, Robert Jobson, the royal editor of The Evening Standard, said the process of an official apology needs to be accelerated by the King - adding there was a danger his reign "is going to be over" before the issue gets properly addressed.

Omid Scobie hosted Yahoo's 'Future of the Monarchy' panel, during which Robert Jobson said he believes King Charles needs to speed up the process of an official apology for the Royal Family's role in the slave trade. (Yahoo)
Omid Scobie hosted Yahoo's 'Future of the Monarchy' panel, during which Robert Jobson said he believes King Charles needs to speed up the process of an official apology for the Royal Family's role in the slave trade. (Yahoo)
KINGSTON, JAMAICA – MARCH 24: (UK OUT FOR 28 DAYS) Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge ride in a Land Rover as they attend the inaugural Commissioning Parade for service personnel from across the Caribbean with Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, at the Jamaica Defence Force on day six of the Platinum Jubilee Royal Tour of the Caribbean on March 24, 2022 in Kingston, Jamaica. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are visiting Belize, Jamaica, and The Bahamas on their week-long tour. (Photo by Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Last year, William and Kate's visit to the Caribbean was deemed a PR disaster with images like this evoking colonialism. (Getty Images)

Jobson said: "It's obviously coming in that direction and there's been an awful lot of developments since the Black Lives Matter movement in the Caribbean.

"This has been on the agenda of education for a long time and I remember when I was a kid studying at a comprehensive in the 70s, I did a whole project on the slave trade and I was very passionate about it, so I think it's always been there, I think more needs to be done.

"Equally, I think Charles is right to do what he's doing. I think it's the right step to do it, it's absolutely right that he puts an academic in the archives and starts the process, because that's where you're going to get more and more information that they can base a proper investigation upon.

TOPSHOT - Charles, Prince of Wales (R) receives the Order of Freedom of Barbados from President of Barbados Dame Sandra Mason (2nd R) during the ceremony to declare Barbados a Republic and the Inauguration of the President of Barbados at Heroes Square in Bridgetown, Barbados, on November 30, 2021. - Fireworks filled the sky over Barbados as the Caribbean island nation declared itself the world's newest republic, lowering Queen Elizabeth's flag as it severed colonial-era ties to the British throne to the sound of jubilant gun salutes. (Photo by Randy Brooks / AFP) (Photo by RANDY BROOKS/AFP via Getty Images)
Charles, then Prince of Wales, attended the official ceremony in which Barbados was declared a republic and the late Queen removed as head of state. (Getty Images)

"But equally, things need to be speeded up, because how long is this reign going to last? I mean it might not even be finished before the reign is over at this point.

"So, in my opinion we need to speed things up".

He added: "This monarchy is in a new time, it's a new reign and things need to be done differently".

There is clearly currently little appetite for the UK government to address the matter head on. As recently as 26 April, Rishi Sunak made it clear the UK government would not be apologising for the country's role in slavery.

Jobson's sentiments were shared by the other panelists, with royal biographer and founder of the Women's Equality Party — Catherine Mayer — noting that Charles giving one historian access to the royal archives was relatively minimal.

"One person to look in the archives as well, it's hardly kind of throwing them open to scholars."

"Exactly", replied royal commentator Afua Hagan, "and she's going to be doing that until 2026, that's a long time".

Read more articles from Yahoo's 'Future of the Monarchy' panel here

And watch the full discussion panel below: