Prince Harry Supports Rugby Union's Plan to Ban "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" at Games

Harper's Bazaar Staff
Photo credit: WPA Pool - Getty Images
Photo credit: WPA Pool - Getty Images

From Marie Claire

  • Prince Harry is supporting the Rugby Football Union's plan to ask fans to stop singing "Swing Low" amid the Black Lives Matter movement.

  • The RFU said in a statement, "The 'Swing Low, Sweet Chariot' song has long been part of the culture of rugby and is sung by many who have no awareness of its origins or sensitivities."

  • A spokesperson for Prince Harry told BAZAAR.com that the duke "is supportive of the comments the RFU made."

Prince Harry has long supported the Rugby Football Union, and became its royal patron in 2016, a role he still holds since stepping down as a senior royal. And now the duke is supporting the organization's decision to review the use of the song "Swing Low" at games, on account of its ties to slavery.

A spokesperson for Prince Harry told BAZAAR.com, "The Duke is supportive of the comments the RFU made this week regarding the review and he will follow the lead of the RFU on the matter."

Previously, the Rugby Football Union addressed the use of the song in a statement that said, "The RFU has stated we need to do more to achieve diversity and we are determined to accelerate change and grow awareness. The 'Swing Low, Sweet Chariot' song has long been part of the culture of rugby and is sung by many who have no awareness of its origins or sensitivities. We are reviewing its historical context and our role in educating fans to make informed decisions."

As noted by the BBC, it's thought that the song dates back to the 19th century, and was written by an enslaved man called Wallace Wallis, and his wife Minerva. In the United States, the historic, spiritual composition is known to reflect life in slavery and oppression.

Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, have being showing their support for the Black Lives Matter movement. As BAZAAR.com's royal editor at large, Omid Scobie, recently reported, "Both Meghan and Harry have been quietly having meetings behind the scenes with people on all levels to make sure that they are educated and connected to the issues of police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement."

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