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Documents Confirm Direct Ancestors of King Charles III Involved in Slave Trade

Direct ancestors of King Charles III and the royal family bought and exploited enslaved people on tobacco plantations in Virginia, according to new research shared with the Guardian.

A document discovered in archives reveals that a direct ancestor of the king was involved in buying at least 200 enslaved people from the Royal African Company (RAC) in 1686.

The document instructs a ship’s captain to deliver the enslaved Africans to Edward Porteus, a tobacco plantation owner in Virginia, and two other men. Porteus’s son, Robert, inherited his father’s estate before moving his family to England, in 1720. Later a direct descendant, Frances Smith, married the aristocrat Claude Bowes-Lyon. Their granddaughter was Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the late queen mother.

The documents establishing these royal roots were found by the researcher Desirée Baptiste, while investigating links between the Church of England and enslavers in Virginia, for a play she has written.

The revelation follows the Guardian’s publication of a document earlier this month that linked the slave trader Edward Colston to the British monarchy. The latest discovery, which Baptiste made deep in the RAC archives, reveals a direct line up the Windsor family tree to the trafficking of enslaved Africans.

Read entire article at The Guardian