The Prince of Wales has edited an edition of British African-Caribbean newspaper The Voice, featuring interviews with Baroness Doreen Lawrence and Idris Elba, to mark its 40th anniversary. Charles said he was “so touched” to be asked to edit the special edition of the newspaper, which he said has “become an institution” over the years. The Voice, founded in 1982, is the only national black British newspaper operating in the UK.
Clarence House said Charles’s edit celebrates some of the achievements of the black community over the last four decades and records his long-standing collaboration with black leaders. It is said to touch on themes including community cohesion, education, climate, the Commonwealth, faith and the arts.
The newspaper features an interview with Baroness Lawrence, mother of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence, who reveals a new partnership between the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation and The Prince’s Foundation to provide applied arts scholarships for young people from diverse backgrounds affected by social and economic inequality. Luther star Elba tells the newspaper how a Prince’s Trust grant at the age of 16 “opened doors that changed my life”, while Booker Prize-winning author Bernardine Evaristo reflects on her career, her role as president of the Royal Society of Literature and her support for the Duchess of Cornwall’s Reading Room.
The edition also features an interview with Baroness Floella Benjamin, who talks about her involvement in the Windrush Portraits project, an initiative created by Charles to mark the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush in Tilbury Docks, Essex, and honour the Windrush generation’s contribution to public life in the UK.
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Speaking about the publication, Charles said: “Over the last four decades, with all the enormous changes that they have witnessed, Britain’s only surviving black newspaper has become an institution and a crucial part of the fabric of our society. “This is why I was so touched to be invited to edit this special edition.” Paulette Simpson, the newspaper’s executive editor, said: “The Voice is an integral part of the black community and has shared authentic stories of the lived experience of black people over the last four decades through their voices." “It has campaigned on issues and celebrated successes, often in areas that were ignored by the mainstream media." “It is therefore a unique record of black British lives and will be a historic record for future generations." “We are pleased that through his involvement at this special time, the Prince of Wales acknowledges the role of The Voice in its efforts over the last 40 years to create a more inclusive society and highlights issues that he has supported. “It is my hope that this will be an example for others of working collaboratively to create positive change for our country.” Lester Holloway, The Voice’s editor, said: “Our readers may be surprised at the parallels between the issues which The Voice has campaigned on for four decades and the work the Prince of Wales has been involved in over the same period, often behind the scenes." “In past decades these causes were once scorned and ridiculed, but today they are widely acknowledged. “Yet all the research tells us how far we have to go to be a truly equal society." “The prince has an awareness of this, and that in itself is a reason to be hopeful.” The edition of The Voice edited by Charles will be available to purchase on September 1.