The Duchess of Sussex has spoken of the “absolutely devastating” death of George Floyd at the hands of police.
Meghan Markle’s comments came in a virtual address to the graduating class at her former high school.
“As we’ve all seen over the last week, what is happening in our country and in our state and in our hometown of LA has been absolutely devastating,” she said.
She told students from the all-girls’ Immaculate Heart High School that she had wrestled with what to say to them given the unrest that has rocked the US since Mr Floyd’s death in Minneapolis on May 25.
“I wanted to say the right thing,” she said.
“I realised the only wrong thing to say is to say nothing. Because George Floyd’s life mattered, and Breonna Taylor’s life mattered, and Philando Castile’s life mattered, and Tamir Rice’s life mattered, and so did so many other people whose names we know and whose names we do not know. Stephon Clark. His life mattered.”
Along with Mr Floyd, the other people she listed were black Americans who had suffered at the hands of police violence.
The duchess, who has an African-American mother and a white father and grew up in Los Angeles, returned to live in LA earlier in 2020 with husband Prince Harry and their young son,
She said this week’s protests across US reminded her of the 1992 riots in LA after police were acquitted over the beating of Rodney King.
“I remember the curfew and I remember rushing back home, and on that drive home, seeing ash fall from the sky, and smelling the smoke and seeing the smoke billow out of buildings,” she said.
“I remember seeing men in the back of a van just holding guns and rifles.
“I remember pulling up the house and seeing the tree that had always been there, completely charred. And those memories don’t go away.”