'Do we bankrupt Great Britain because of our past as an empire?'

There is an ongoing discussion about the Royal Family's historic ties to slavery and what, if any, response should be taken.

The issue was discussed by a panel of experts in Yahoo's 'Future of the Monarchy' debate, hosted by royal executive editor, Omid Scobie.

Robert Jobson, the royal editor for the Evening Standard, said: "Where does this stop?" he said, "Where does the line start and where does it stop? Because there's obviously an agenda. I think that we should apologise unreservedly for the abhorrence of slavery.

"We have to look very carefully, because we are an island. We're no longer an empire with a huge bank account. Do we bankrupt Great Britain due to our past, when we were an empire? [It's a] very difficult subject".

Joining Omid and co-founder of the Women’s Equality Party Catherine Mayer were King Charles’ biographer and royal editor at The Evening Standard Robert Jobson; and journalist and broadcaster Afua Hagan.

Watch the full clip above.

Video transcript

ROBERT JOBSON: We have to be very, very careful with history. And I'm a history graduate. And I'm passionate about it. Where does this stop? Where does the line start and where does it stop? Because there's, obviously, an agenda.

I think you should apologize unreservedly for the abhorrence of slavery, you know, as William Wilberforce moved to do all those years ago. But then, you know, what about the reparations from the African tribal leaders that actually were actually pushing the slave-- were capturing their rivals in the other tribes to sell them? Are they culpable, too?

What about the people that were indentured, the Indians, the Asians that were indentured? That had served 20 years or 15 years before-- in slavery effectively before they were free. So there's a lot-- this goes a lot deeper.

And the colonial past of Great Britain, abhorrent that it was, there's been a lot of advancement that was-- that came as a result of that. And really, I think that we have to look very carefully because we are an island-- we're no longer an empire with a huge bank account. You know, do we bankrupt Great Britain due to our past when we were an Empire?

It's a very difficult subject. But the King, as Catherine rightly said, is-- should take a lead, is taking a lead. But the government has to back him with cash.

- You talk about--

ROBERT JOBSON: And I don't-- I don't think they will.