Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle have called for an end to “structural racism”, saying it holds back young people of colour, in their latest foray into politically sensitive issues usually avoided by the British royal family.
In an interview for The Evening Standard newspaper, Harry said Britain could be a better place if white people understood more about those “of a different coloured skin”
“For 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,” the couple wrote in an article for the paper.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have made several comments on race issues since stepping down from their roles as working members of the royal family at the end of March and moving to California.
"We must end structural racism in Britain"
Harry and Meghan spoke to @eveningstandard exclusively about their new campaign for Black History Month.
— Evening Standard (@EveningStandard) October 1, 2020
Harry, 36, told the newspaper he had been awakened to the issues facing black and other ethnic minorities since meeting Meghan, whose father is white and mother is African-American.
“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,” he 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,” Harry told the paper.
“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,” added Harry, who is Queen Elizabeth’s grandson and sixth in line to the throne.
The interview, carried out by video from their new home, coincides with the start of Black History Month in Britain which celebrates the contribution of black people to the nation.
Black History Month 2020 – DIG DEEPER, LOOK CLOSER, THINK BIGGER #blackhistorymonth #blacklivesmatter #bhm2020 #blacklivesmatter #blackhistorymonth2020https://t.co/rQVUI68C8l pic.twitter.com/Ot2Nkrk5VJ
— Black History Month 2020 (@BhmUK) September 11, 2020
The Sussexes have faced accusations in the British media that they are not respecting the tradition that the royal family does not comment on political matters.
Last week, they encouraged Americans to vote in the November presidential election, with Harry saying it was “vital that we reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity”.
Critics said his comments could be understood as a call to vote against US President Donald Trump.
Buckingham Palace said the remarks represented Harry’s personal views.