The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have called for Britain to address structural racism in a candid interview to mark the start of Black History Month, in which the Prince said that “the world that we know has been created by white people for white people.”
Meghan Markle, Prince Harry are posing for a picture© Provided by The Independent
Speaking to the Evening Standard from their home in Santa Barbara, California, Harry and Meghan revealed they had compiled a list of BHM NextGen Trailblazers, comprising high-profile people recognised for challenging prejudice and contributing to British society.
The list includes British Vogue editor Edward Enninful, Olympic boxing champion Nicola Adams, and Booker prize-winning author Bernardine Evaristo.
During the interview, Harry opened up about his own “awakening” to the issues affecting black and minority ethnic people.
“Because I wasn’t aware of so many of the issues and so many of the problems within the UK and also globally as well. I thought I did but I didn’t.”
Harry continued: “You know, when you go into a shop with your children and you only see white dolls, do you even think: ‘That’s weird, there is not a black doll there?’
“And I use that as just one example of where we as white people don’t always have the awareness of what it must be like for someone else of a different coloured skin, of a black skin, to be in the same situation as we are where the world that we know has been created by white people for white people.”
Harry went on to say that “pointing the finger” and placing blame is not the right solution.
“I will be the first person to say, again, this is about learning,” he added.
“And about how we can make it better. I think it is a really exciting time in British culture and British history, and in world culture.
“This is a real moment that we should be grasping and actually celebrating. Because no one else has managed to do this before us.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Meghan offered her views on the Black Lives Matter protests that took place in the wake of the death of George Floyd earlier this year, acknowledging that they had been “inflammatory” for some people.
“But when there is just peaceful protest and when there is the intention of just wanting community and just wanting the recognition of equality, then that is a beautiful thing,” she said.
“While it has been challenging for a lot of people certainly having to make this reckoning of historical significance that has got people to the place that they are, that is uncomfortable for people. We recognise that. It is uncomfortable for us.”
The couple also spoke about their support for Britain’s Got Talent judge Ashley Banjo, whose Black Lives Matter-inspired performance, as part of the dance troupe Diversity, triggered a deluge of complaints to Ofcom.
Ofcom has since confirmed it will not be conducting an investigation into the complaints.
Harry said: “We spoke to Ashley Banjo a few weeks ago, straight after the Britain’s Got Talent situation. And that in itself, I am sure even me talking about it will be controversial, but the reality of it is he and his team of guys put on the most amazing display.
“We had such a good chat with Ashley. He was really strong, he felt great about it, but at the same time he was concerned because of the reaction. It was a real surprise that there was what? 1,100 complaints after the show and then three days of hype it became 20 or 25,000.
“I am very glad Ofcom made the decision that they did but that in itself kind of proves how much this conversation needs to continue.”