he Prince of Wales has spoken about the importance of “unity through diversity” as he guest edited British African-Caribbean newspaper The Voice on its 40th anniversary.
Charles quoted Jamaican reggae pioneer Bob Marley in his editor’s letter in which he said he was “so touched” to be asked to edit the special edition of the newspaper.
The future king said he has always found Britain’s black communities to be “a great source of inspiration”.
The front page of the newspaper said Charles used his editor’s letter to write about “his vision to tackle racial injustice and unfairness”.
In all of this, we can reflect that our society is woven from diverse threads, drawn from so many parts of the world, which strengthen and enrich the fabric of our national life, as well as the remarkable tapestry of the Commonwealth
The Voice, founded in 1982, is the only national black British newspaper operating in the UK.
Clarence House said Charles’s edit celebrates some of the achievements of the black community over the last four decades and records his long-standing collaboration with black leaders.
In his editor’s letter, Charles wrote: “‘The people have a voice inside of them,’ said Bob Marley, and for more than forty years, The Voice newspaper has ensured that Britain’s black communities have been heard.
“It has been a voice of advocacy, of protest, of reason, but most of all, of understanding.
“Over those four decades, with all the enormous changes that it has witnessed, Britain’s only surviving black newspaper has become an institution and a crucial part of the fabric of our society.
“This is why I was so touched to have been invited to edit this special edition.”
The newspaper features an interview with Baroness Doreen Lawrence, mother of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence, who reveals a new partnership between the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation and The Prince’s Foundation to provide applied arts scholarships for young people from diverse backgrounds affected by social and economic inequality.
Luther star Idris Elba tells the newspaper how a Prince’s Trust grant at the age of 16 “opened doors that changed my life”, while Booker Prize-winning author Bernardine Evaristo reflects on her career, her role as president of the Royal Society of Literature and her support for the Duchess of Cornwall’s Reading Room.
The edition also features an interview with Baroness Floella Benjamin, who talks about her involvement in the Windrush Portraits project, an initiative created by Charles to mark the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush in Tilbury Docks, Essex, and honour the Windrush generation’s contribution to public life in the UK.
The Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Amor Mottley, with whom the prince has worked closely on issues of climate change, youth opportunity and the Commonwealth, is also interviewed for the newspaper.
Concluding his letter, Charles wrote: “As we mark the forty years that The Voice has reported on the black British experience, we look back to the enterprise of the Windrush generation a lifetime ago, and the selfless commitment of the current generation during the pandemic.
“We also look forward to the challenges and opportunities ahead, and the future that our communities will inspire and build.
“In all of this, we can reflect that our society is woven from diverse threads, drawn from so many parts of the world, which strengthen and enrich the fabric of our national life, as well as the remarkable tapestry of the Commonwealth.
“My hope is that we can consistently preserve and celebrate the histories of people of African, Caribbean and Asian heritage in Britain, and to expand this beyond Black History Month.
“Doing so will recognize the rich diversity of cultures and different minority ethnic groups that make this country so special – and in many ways unique.
“I pray it will also, in these turbulent times, serve to remind us of the important values of unity through diversity on which we pride ourselves as a society and which lie at the very heart of what we can achieve as a nation.”
The edition of The Voice edited by Charles will be available to purchase on Thursday.