‘Visionary’ King Charles III is a ‘supporter of diversity’ and wants to ‘celebrate’ the pioneers of the Windrush generation, says Baroness Floella Benjamin

  • Baroness Floella Benjamin said King Charles ‘celebrates diversity’ this morning
  • Former Play School presenter said he wants to pay tribute to Windrush pioneers
  • She warned people shouldn’t compare him to his mother as they are ‘different’ 
  • Said she was hoping his intentions would ‘not be lost’ during his reign  
  • Full coverage: Click here to see all our coverage of the Queen’s passing

King Charles III is a ‘supporter of diversity’ and is planning to ‘celebrate the pioneers of the Windrush generation, Baroness Floella Benjamin claimed  today.

The Former Play School presenter, 72, appeared on ITV today where she spoke about working with the new monarch.

The Baroness said Charles is ‘different’ than his mother the Queen, adding: ‘People shouldn’t compare Charles with his mother that would be a mistake. 

‘I am working with him at the moment with the Windrush. He wants to celebrate the Windrush pioneers because next year is the 75th anniversary.

King Charles III is a ‘supporter of diversity’ and is planning to ‘celebrate the pioneers of the Windrush generation, Baroness Floella Benjamin claimed today 

The Baroness, who has met the royal on a number of occasions, said Charles is ‘different’ than his mother the Queen (pictured together in June) 

‘He wanted to have 10 portraits of Windrush elders painted. This is something he’s been thinking about for the  past five years. 

‘He did it for the Holocaust, and then he thinks, “Who else in the community hasn’t been served? What else can we do to make them feel part of this Great Britain?”‘

She said: ‘Hopefully they will listen to him in Parliament. He is a visionary, he’s spoken about the environment, diversity and getting more representation for people of color.

‘I really hope that won’t be lost during his reign.’

The Baroness said the King is a ‘visionary’ and said she hopes his focus on ‘environment and diversity’ isn’t ‘lost during his reign’

The Windrush generation was named after the ship that brought over one of the first groups of West Indian migrants invited to the UK in 1948 to help rebuild post-war Britain. 

Over the next 25 years thousands followed, taking jobs to fill shortages, particularly in the nascent NHS.

In 2020, the then-Prince of Wales has spoken of the ‘debt of gratitude’ the nation owes the Windrush generation.

Speaking from his home office in a video message marking Windrush Day, Charles paid tribute to the ‘invaluable contribution of black people in Britain’.

The Baroness Benjamin from London is made a Dame Commander of the British Empire by the Prince of Wales during an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace in March 2020 

The royal also thanked all the frontline workers from Afro-Caribbean communities for their contribution during the coronavirus pandemic.

Putting on a smart appearance in a navy suit and blue shirt, Charles said: ‘Today offers an opportunity to express the debt of gratitude we owe to that first Windrush generation for accepting the invitation to come to Britain and, above all, to recognise the immeasurable difference that they, their children and their grandchildren, have made to so many aspects of our public life, to our culture and to every sector of our economy.’

Charles went on to describe Britain’s diversity as its ‘greatest strength’.

And last month, he was praised for his guest editing at The Voice, one of the UK’s most prominent black newspapers. 

The King took on the editorship of the newspaper to mark its 40th anniversary, with the edition also including interviews with Baroness Doreen Lawrence and Idris Elba.

Earlier this year, he was praised for his guest editing at The Voice, one of the UK’s most prominent black newspapers in August 

The Prince’s guest editorship celebrated many achievements of the black community over those four decades and, Clarence House said, ‘records HRH’s long-standing collaboration with black leaders, which has led to The Prince’s charities providing continued support for the community in many areas’. 

Charles himself was ‘so touched’ to be asked to edit the newspaper, saying he had always found Britain’s black communities ‘a great source of inspiration’. 

In his editor’s letter, Charles wrote about his aim to tackle racial injustice in society.

He wrote: ‘You have welcomed me into your communities with wonderful enthusiasm and I am grateful that you have always been candid with me about the issues you continually face and how I might help.’

He added: ‘The black community is a source of inspiration to me.’

It comes after the Duke and Duchess of Sussexes explosive Oprah Winfrey interview last March, in which Meghan Markle claimed there were ‘several conversations’ between herself, Harry and members within the royal family about ‘how dark’ their baby could be before son Archie was born.

Following the interview, Prince William insisted the royals were ‘very much not a racist family’.

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