Prince William Is Being Criticized For Saying War Is "Alien" in Europe
Prince William is coming under fire for comments he made during a visit to the Ukrainian Cultural Centre in London yesterday. The Washington Post reports that during his surprise appearance, which included his wife, Kate Middleton, William said that it was "alien" to see war in Europe. For British people of his generation, he noted, "it's very alien to see this in Europe."
"We are all behind you," he added later, voicing his support for the people of Ukraine as Russia continues its invasion.
Many critics voiced the Duke of Cambridge's seemingly revisionist take on history, since Britain has a long history of war and that war, in fact, is not uncommon in Europe specifically. The Cut mentions conflict in Northern Ireland that took place from 1968 until 1998, the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s, and the more recent annexation of Crimea, just as a quick refresher.
CNN anchor Jake Tapper tweeted, "Read a book about your own family, dude," alongside a photo of Edward, Duke of Windsor, and his wife, Wallis Simpson, meeting with Adolf Hitler in Germany back in 1937.
Bernice King compared William's remarks to colonialism, writing, "Horrific comment. European people ran roughshod over the continent of Africa, pillaging communities, raping women, enslaving human beings, colonizing for profit and power, stealing resources, causing generational devastation. And European nations continue to harm Africa." The tweet has since been deleted and King posted a follow-up, emphasizing the importance of language.
"I believe that we have a great deal of work to do globally to eradicate what my father called the Triple Evils of Militarism, Racism and Poverty," she wrote. "I believe that language matters in that work. And that it is harmful for a global figure to express war as 'alien to Europe.'"
Robert Jobson, royal editor at the London Evening Standard, told The Washington Post that he believed William's comments were "taken out of context," adding that he sees the future king of England as "an educated man" and "I am sure he didn't mean it to be racist."
The royal family has been embroiled in accusations of racism before. When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle sat down for an interview with Oprah Winfrey, they described a situation involving a member of the family voicing their concerns over their son Archie's skin color.
"The whole family was saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan," Queen Elizabeth said in a statement following the interview, adding that "the issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning."