The Prince of Wales has paid tribute to the Windrush generation as he sent a video message of thanks to Britain's Caribbean community for their contribution to life in the UK. Speaking from his home office, Prince Charles, 71, said: "As we honour the legacy of the Windrush generation, and the invaluable contribution of Black people in Britain, I dearly hope that we can continue to listen to each other's stories and to learn from one another. The diversity of our society is its greatest strength and gives us so much to celebrate."
WATCH: Prince Charles pays tribute to the Windrush generation in video message
Windrush Day on Monday 22 June marked the 72nd anniversary of the arrival of HMT Empire Windrush at Tilbury Docks, Essex, in 1948, carrying hundreds of people from the Caribbean, who had been invited to help rebuild Britain in the wake of the Second World War.
The Prince continued: "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 also acknowledged the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on the Black community in particular, saying: "I know that the Black community has been hit particularly hard by this pernicious virus.
"To those who have lost their loved ones in such heartbreaking circumstances, when it has been impossible for them to comfort their relatives in hospital, I can only convey my most profound sympathy.
"And to everyone on the front line who has been put under such intense pressure over the last three months and risen heroically to the unprecedented challenge, I want to say, on behalf of all of us, how inordinately proud we are of them and the way they carry out their onerous duties."
The heir to the throne paid tribute to the doctors, nurses and others working on the front line and said people of African and Caribbean descent have been an "indispensable part" of the NHS since its beginning.
Charles and Camilla meeting veterans during their visit to the Black Cultural Archives
Charles also reflected on his and the Duchess of Cornwall's visit to Black Cultural Archives in Brixton in February 2017, to learn about African and Caribbean contribution during both World Wars and to meet with Windrush veterans. The Prince finished his video message by reciting lines from Jamaican poet James Berry's poem Benediction.
The Prince and the Duchess carried out their first in-person engagements last week, meeting key workers outside the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital during a social distanced visit and hosting French President Emmanuel Macron at Clarence House.
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