Prince Harry has admitted that he didn’t understand unconscious racial bias until walking a day in his wife Meghan Markle’s shoes.
The Duke of Sussex spoke candidly about the issue of racial bias to Black Lives Matter activist Patrick Hutchinson for GQ magazine, where he said ignorance can “no longer be an excuse”.
“Unconscious bias, from my understanding, having the upbringing and the education that I had, I had no idea what it was. I had no idea it existed,” Harry admitted.
“And then, sad as it is to say, it took me many, many years to realise it, especially then living a day or a week in my wife’s shoes.”
Harry also spoke about dance troupe Diversity’s Black Lives Matter performance on Britain’s Got Talent, which received thousands of Ofcom complaints after the show aired.
“You talk about unconscious bias to start with, which you and I both know is a huge thing globally. But, yes, it exists in the UK as well,” he shared.
“But I think with the Ashley Banjo stuff, we – Meghan and I – spoke to him shortly after that whole process, that whole moment in his life and Diversity’s life.
“But what was interesting there, from what I was told, was that there were a couple of thousand complaints that came straight after the performance. But it was three days later or even a week later that it got up to 20,000.
“So you start to think, well, how many people actually watch the performance that have complained? Or have they just had their opinion inflamed by what they’ve read? It just proves the point that this discussion needs more talking about.”
Meghan has previously opened up about her experience with racism, admitting she has often been subjected to “really offensive jokes and slurs”.
In a resurfaced clip from a 2012 #IWontStandForRacism campaign, shot prior to when she met Harry, the Suits star said: “For me, I think it hits a really personal note.
“I’m biracial, most people can’t tell what I’m mixed with, and so much of my life has felt like being a fly on the wall.
“So some of the slurs I’ve heard or the really offensive jokes, or the names, it’s just hit me in a really strong way.”
Meghan explained that she witnessed first-hand her mother Doria Ragland being called a racial slur.
“You know, a couple of years ago, I heard someone call my mom the N-word,” she revealed.
“So I think for me, beyond being personally affected by racism, just to see the landscape of what our country is like right now, certainly the world, and to want things to be better.
“I am really proud of my heritage on both sides, I’m really proud of where I’ve come from and where I’m coming,” she continued.
“But yeah I hope by the time I have children that people are even more open-minded to how things are changing and that having a mixed world is what it’s all about. Certainly it makes it a lot more beautiful and a lot more interesting.”