Prince Harry and Meghan have seemingly taken a swipe at the UK’s colonial history, calling for the Commonwealth to acknowledged the wrongs associated with its past.
Speaking during a video call with members of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust last week – which focused on responding to the Black Lives Matter movement – Harry said the entire Commonwealth needs to follow others who have already acknowledged the past and are trying to right their wrongs.
“When you look across the Commonwealth, there is no way that we can move forward unless we acknowledge the past,” the 35-year-old prince said.
“So many people have done such an incredible job of acknowledging the past and trying to right those wrongs, but I think we all acknowledge there is so much more still to do. It’s not going to be easy and in some cases, it’s not going to be comfortable, but it needs to be done, because, guess what, everybody benefits.”
— The Queen's Commonwealth Trust (@queenscomtrust) July 6, 2020
Harry’s comments triggered a backlash back home though, with British conservative MP Andrew Rosindell reportedly telling the Daily Mail that the comments were “disappointing” and would not “please” the Queen.
Meanwhile, Harry’s wife Meghan added that equality is a fundamental human right, saying: “We’re going to have to be a little uncomfortable right now because it’s only in pushing through that discomfort that we get to the other side of this and find the place where a high tide raises all ships. Equality does not put anyone on the back foot, it puts us all on the same footing — which is a fundamental human right.”
Harry also addressed the issue of unconscious bias, saying: “We can’t deny or ignore the fact that all of us have been educated to see the world differently. However, once you start to realise that there is that bias there, then you need to acknowledge it, you need to do the work to become more aware… so that you can help stand up for something that is so wrong and should not be acceptable in our society today.”
Last month, the Duchess of Sussex addressed the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in a powerful video message. Meghan recorded the six-minute clip for the graduation of the class of 2020 at her former high school, Immaculate Heart.
“What is happening in our country and in our state and in our hometown of LA… I wasn’t sure what I could say to you. I wanted to say the right thing,” Meghan said in the video, as she directly addressed the teenage students.
“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.”
Harry and Meghan announced earlier this year that they were stepping down from their role as senior royals, and have since been spending most of their time in North America with their one-year-old son Archie.