Prince of Wales ‘forever grateful' to Windrush generation and descendants
The Prince of Wales said the Windrush generation’s contributions to Britain “cannot be overstated” as he expressed gratitude on the 75th anniversary of the crossing.
The HMT Empire Windrush first docked in England on June 22 1948 at Tilbury Docks in Essex, bringing people from the Caribbean who answered Britain’s call to help fill post-war labour shortages.
William said Britain is better today due to their descendants staying and becoming “part of who we are in 2023”.
In a video posted on social media, William said: “This Windrush Day, we mark 75 years since the Empire Windrush laid anchor at Tilbury Docks.
“Many of the young people on that historic voyage knew Britain well. They had fought by our sides in World War II.
“They and the generation of Commonwealth citizens who followed in their footsteps, chose this country to start new lives. We know they experienced hardships.
“But they also experienced joy; and life did indeed change for them and their families.
“But these voyagers also gave to our nation, helping to rebuild our country and adding to our culture.
“Their contributions to the Britain we know now cannot be overstated.
“We are a better people today because the children and the grandchildren of those who came in 1948 have stayed and become part of who we are in 2023.
“And for that we are forever grateful.
“Today we celebrate the Windrush generation, their descendants and everything they have given to us all.”
The 75th anniversary is being marked with events across Britain, including a national commemoration service at Southwark Cathedral on Thursday.
A scandal, which erupted in 2018, saw many British citizens, mostly from the Caribbean, denied access to healthcare and benefits and threatened with deportation despite having the right to live in the UK.