Texts on the monarchie.be website are to be reviewed due to an “error” in the biographical note on King Leopold II, according to the spokesman of the Royal Palace. It was erroneously stated in the bio that the 1890 Brussels International Conference had condemned the practice of slavery, but “that should, rather, be ‘the slave trade’,” spokesman Francis Sobry explained. “Slavery was only condemned much later, in 1926.”
Sobry said that although this was an important period in the life of the Belgian sovereign, “the idea is certainly not to replace it with a text on the colonisation of Congo and the role our country played in it.” This “error”, he added, is an opportunity to review the site to see if other elements should be adapted.
Asked about the idea that the Kingdom needs to present an apology after the publication of a critical UN report on role Belgium played in the colonisation of Congo and the way it approaches the issue today, the spokesman declined to comment, referring the questioner to the Foreign Ministry.
The Palace also declined to comment on the possibility of using income from the Royal Trust to pay for reparations to the Congo.