‘It’s strange to see this in Europe’: Prince William faces backlash over comments about war in Africa and Asia
Prince William is facing a backlash after saying the bloodshed in Ukraine was ‘alien’ to Europe unlike the conflicts in Africa and Asia.
As the Russian invasion of Ukraine entered its third week, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met volunteers at the Ukrainian Cultural Center in London, who were filling aid trucks to support humanitarian relief efforts.
Addressing the volunteers, William, 39, said: “It’s very strange to see this in Europe. We are all behind you,” he said, adding that he wanted to do more to help. “We feel so useless.”
William’s comments sparked outrage on social media, with users calling the second to the throne “racist” and failing to acknowledge the history of Britain’s colonial empire as well as recent conflicts in Europe.
“Prince William says the conflict is ‘very foreign’ to Europe, unlike Asia and Africa,” wrote human rights lawyer Qasim Rashid.
“How can you have a 1,000 year history of colonialism, a literal 100 year war, start 2 world wars, allow multiple genocides and bomb a dozen nations since 9/11 alone – while making this kind of statement “, he asked.
Author Omid Scobie wrote that he was “not surprised to see backlash” against William.
“Europe has seen some of the bloodiest conflicts of the past two centuries: the Balkans, Yugoslavia, Germany and Kosovo, to name but a few. But of course let’s normalize war and death in Africa and Asia,” he added.
Another user wrote: “So after your ancestors, Prince William stole, colonized, caused genocide, in so much land. You have decided to make this statement. Your country was built on wars. It’s literally your story.
“I wouldn’t mind if all the Caribbean countries canceled your trip.”
William and Kate are due to visit the Caribbean for the first time later this month and will visit countries including Jamaica, the Bahamas and Belize.
Some users also claimed on social media that William’s comments indicated he was the one who asked Meghan Markle about her skin color and that of Prince William’s son Archie.
Political strategist Atima Omara wrote: ‘All the more reason why I still believe it was Prince William who asked Harry what his nephew’s skin color would be…without saying it couldn’t be from other family members but when Meghan said it could be “prejudicial” to the person who said it.
Author Morgan Jerkins wrote: “Prince William’s comments on Africa are so ridiculously ignorant that he is doing himself a disservice by avoiding these rumors that he is the one in the royal family who asked about the Archie’s skin color.”
American author Christopher Andersen has alleged in his new book that Prince Charles was the unnamed ‘Prince Royal’ who speculated about the skin color of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s future children. However, Clarence House denied the allegations. Harry and Meghan did not share the name in public.
Many users demanded an apology from William, as they reminded him of British history.
William’s comments come amid backlash Western media in the US, UK and France have faced in recent weeks over their “racist coverage” of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Political commentators in several media outlets have pointed out how Ukrainians’ “white skin” and proximity to the west makes the current conflict so close to home.