Meghan and Harry’s boldest statement yet

 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have called for an end to "structural racism" in the UK.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex said young people of colour would be held back "as long as structural racism exists".

The couple spoke to the Evening Standard in a "candid" interview - gushing over their new life in the US after quitting the Royal Family.

In a Zoom interview from their new $20 million home in Santa Barbara, California, Harry said: "I've had an awakening of my own" as he discussed the lack of opportunities that ethnic minorities face.

Meghan and Harry looked relaxed during the powerful interview. Picture: Evening Standard/Twitter
Meghan and Harry looked relaxed during the powerful interview. Picture: Evening Standard/Twitter

The sixth-in-line to the throne said: "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."

The 36-year-old added: "You know, when you go in to 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."

Previously, Meghan has revealed how her dad Thomas Markle bought two sets of Barbie dolls for her to make a bi-racial family when she was made to feel upset over her heritage as a child.

In an article for the newspaper, the pair said: "As long as structural racism exists, there will be generations of young people of colour who do not start their lives with the same equality of opportunity as their white peers. And for as long as that continues, untapped potential will never get to be realised."

For the Zoom chat, Meghan wore a long-sleeved brown asymmetric top with leather trousers while Harry wore a navy blue collared shirt and dark grey trousers.

The couple said they wanted their "passion and commitment" to still be felt despite the physical distance between the US and UK.

Harry said: "It is not about pointing the finger, it is not about blame. I will be the first person to say, again, this is about learning. 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."

Harry, who moved to the US with Meghan, 39, earlier this year, said: "The UK is incredibly diverse and London is celebrated as one of the most diverse cities in the world, yet if you actually get out on to the streets and talk to people, it doesn't feel as diverse as it actually is."

Meghan referenced her time living in the UK, saying: "Truth be told, I was in the UK for a few years until we moved back here.

"I didn't realise there was a Black History Month in Britain. To have that - it's about celebrating community."

The couple nominated a string of "Next Gen Trailblazers" to champion Black Brits as part of the awareness month, with Harry referring to his "job" in raising awareness for charities and organisations.

Describing how they picked those on the list of young inspiring leaders, he said: "This job has a certain uniqueness about it where we travel around the world but visit many communities in the UK and the same names keep coming up.

"We're really impressed, humbled and inspired by these individuals."

It comes after Meghan and Harry urged Americans to register to vote in the upcoming US election during a televised Time 100 special. Credit: Time
It comes after Meghan and Harry urged Americans to register to vote in the upcoming US election during a televised Time 100 special. Credit: Time

And despite living across the pond, the couple are still managing to keep in touch with what is happening in the UK.

Harry revealed the couple had spoken to Ashley Banjo who performed a politically charged BLM dance on Britain's Got Talent which depicted George Floyd's death.

The routine received over 22,000 Ofcom complaints, with many saying it was too political for the family show.

Harry weighed in to defend the performance, saying: "I am sure even me talking about it will be controversial".

He added: "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."

And he said that despite the distance, he and Meghan were saying in touch with charities and organisations "as much as humanly possible".

Meghan added: "Everyone has been accustomed to what it means to be distanced.

"The impact of that, whether it is across the pond or across town, you are still for the most part through a computer screen.

"We have all had to adapt to how we can have the most impact as possible within the constraints of what has happening with COVID-19.

"Like all of you, we are doing the best that we can and hoping that our passion and our commitment is still felt as it certainly hasn't wavered."

The duchess - who recently said the coronavirus pandemic was forcing people to go through a "reset" - also spoke out about the Black Lives Matter protests.

 

The former Suits actress said that the demonstrations had been "inflammatory" for many but said many peaceful protests were simply about wanting recognition.

She said: "That is a beautiful thing.

"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."

Harry then weighed in, saying his wife's words had been "perfectly said".

And yet despite the tumultuous year, the couple said they were "doing well".

Meghan said: "We are doing well. (Archie) is so good. We are very lucky with our little one. He is just so busy, he is all over the place. He keeps us on our toes. We are just so lucky."

The couple appeared relaxed in the interview, grinning when their pet beagle Guy jumped on the sofa.

This story originally appeared on The Sun and has been reproduced here with permission

Originally published as Meghan and Harry's boldest statement yet


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