PRINCE Harry and his wife Meghan have urged the UK to end “structural racism”, and pave the way for an “inclusive, equal and colourful” future.
In an interview to the Evening Standard, Harry said Britain could be a better place if white people understood more about those “of a different coloured skin” as the couple yet again forayed into politically sensitive issues usually avoided by the British royal family.
“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,” they wrote in an accompanying article for the newspaper. “And for as long as that continues, untapped potential will never get to be realised.”
The couple said there was no way to “change history” or “edit our past”.
“But we can define our future as one that is inclusive, as one that is equal, and one that is colourful,” they added.
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.
Harry, 36, told the Standard 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.
“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.”
The interview, carried out by video from their new home, coincided with the start of Black History Month in Britain.
Soon after the interview was published, Harry’s spokesperson told the BBC: “The Duke believes structural racism exists in the UK and I think you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who disagrees with that.
“He is not saying that Britain itself is structurally racist or that Britain is racist.”
The Evening Standard said Harry had accepted in the interview that their views “may seem controversial”.
Notably, the Sussexes have faced accusations in the British media that they are deviating from royal tradition.
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. The Buckingham Palace said the remarks represented Harry’s personal views.
In June, Meghan, 39, said she was sorry that children had to grow up in a world where racism still existed and that events in the US after the death of George Floyd were “devastating”.
Asked about the ongoing Black Lives Matters protests, Meghan said they had been inflammatory for a lot of people, but added: “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”.