Kate and William dazzle as national Windrush monument unveiled in London
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended the unveiling of the Windrush monument in one of London’s biggest train stations
The statue – of a man, woman and child in their Sunday best standing on top of suitcases – has been revealed at Waterloo Station on Wednesday to mark Windrush Day.
It was designed by the Jamaican artist and sculptor Basil Watson, who said it had been an honour to create the monument.
William and Kate gathered alongside members of the Windrush generation for the unveiling.
The Government, which has provided £1million in funding for the project, said it ”symbolises the courage, commitment and resilience of the thousands of men, women and children who travelled to the UK to start new lives from 1948 to 1971”.
It also acknowledges the Windrush generation’s “outstanding contribution” to British society and is intended to be “a permanent place of reflection”, it added.
Waterloo Station was chosen because thousands of people who arrived from the Caribbean passed through the station on their way to start their new lives across the country, the Government said.
The unveiling is one of dozens of events and activities across England to celebrate Windrush Day 2022.
Mr Watson said his monument pays tribute to the “dreams and aspirations, courage and dignity, skills and talents” of the Windrush generation who arrived with “a hope of contributing to a society that they expected would welcome them in return”.
He said: “My parents, along with a great many others, took the long arduous voyage from the Caribbean with very little or nothing other than their aspirations, their courage and a promise of opportunity for advancement.
“This monument tells that story of hope, determination, a strong belief in selves and a vision for the future.”
Communities Secretary Michael Gove said: “Seeing Basil Watson’s magnificent monument, it’s easy to imagine the excitement, hope and apprehension that the Windrush pioneers must have felt as they arrived in the UK.
“Overcoming great sacrifice and hardship, the Windrush Generation and their descendants have gone on to make an immense contribution to public life. Britain would be much diminished without them.“
Communities minister Kemi Badenoch added: “Basil Watson’s sculpture perfectly captures the spirit of Windrush.
“In it we see the strength, hope and expectation of those who arrived with little and yet gave so much.
“As a first-generation immigrant myself, the Windrush story resonates with me and it is important we recognise the contribution of those who have so enriched our country.”