The King believes Britain’s role in the slave trade should not be hidden, an artist and historian who knows him said.
Fiona Compton, a St Lucian artist and historian, showed him her Palace of the Peacock design which pays homage to enslaved women who used poison to resist.
Afterwards, she told reporters that the King was ready to discuss Britain’s role in the slave trade.
Ms Compton, whose father was prime minister of St Lucia, said: “It’s an ongoing conversation, he says he is ready to speak on it.
“He is ready to have these conversations and see what work can be done.
“We are not talking about reparations, this is not solely something for the British monarchy [to talk about], this is for the British people to have the conversations.
“He agrees, this is British history, it should not be hidden.
“In the same way we are speaking about the Holocaust, we should be open to speaking about Britain’s involvement in the slave trade.”
The King arrived to huge cheers outside Leeds Central Library and Art Gallery.
He used his own pen to sign two visitor’s books.
He met Mason Hicks, 10, The Leeds Children’s Mayor, who presented the King with a birthday card ahead of his 74th birthday next week.
The King visited the ‘Romance to Rebellion’ exhibition celebrating the Jamaican community in Leeds.
He spoke to Pansy Patterson, 71, who also met the King on a previous visit to Jamaica House in Leeds in 1987.
She said afterwards: "We spoke of old memories. I said I saw him back in 1987.
“It is like history. Seeing him then and now. It is so important to me after all these years."