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Prince Harry, Meghan Markle call on Commonwealth to acknowledge its past: ‘Right those wrongs’

Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle spoke about race and equal rights to young leaders on July 1 on a video call with the Queen's Commonwealth Trust (QCT).

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle spoke openly about anti-Black racism, calling on the Commonwealth to acknowledge its past.

The couple joined forces with members of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust (QCT) on July 1 to address the importance of equal rights with the young leaders.

“Certainly when you look across the Commonwealth, there is no way that we can move forward unless we acknowledge the past,” Harry, 35, said during the virtual call from their Los Angeles home.

Though not named directly by either of them, the Queen is the head of the Commonwealth, which was born of the British Empire.

Read more: Meghan Markle felt ‘unprotected’ by Royal Family while pregnant, court documents suggest

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“So many people have done such an incredible job of acknowledging the past and trying to right those wrongs,” he continued, “but I think we all acknowledge there is so much more still to do.”

Markle also addressed, for the second time, the death of George Floyd and the growth of the Black Lives Matter movement across the globe.

“I think that’s what was very much manifested in what you are feeling from people’s outpouring surrounding the murder of George Floyd,” she said.

The duke and duchess have maintained their roles as president and vice-president, respectively, of the QCT, though they’ve stepped down from senior royalty. They’ve been hosting weekly calls on the “various forms of injustice on the experiences of young people today.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been hosting weekly virtual meetings with members of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust to discuss racial inequality and matters related to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been hosting weekly virtual meetings with members of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust to discuss racial inequality and matters related to the Black Lives Matter movement. Queen's Commonwealth Trust

A day after their meeting with QCT, Harry addressed the Black Lives Matter movement and institutional racism during a virtual speech at the Diana Awards.

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“I know that my mother has been an inspiration to many of you, and I can assure you she would have been fighting in your corner. Like many of you, she never took the easy route or the popular one or the comfortable one,” he said. “But she stood for something, and she stood up for people who needed it.”

He then spoke to the movement, describing “situations around the world where division, isolation and anger are dominating as pain and trauma come to the surface.”

“My wife said recently that our generation and the ones before us haven’t done enough to right the wrongs of the past,” he said. “I, too, am sorry. Sorry that we haven’t got the world to a place you deserve it to be. Institutional racism has no place in our societies, yet it is still endemic. Unconscious bias must be acknowledged without blame to create a better world for all of you.

Read more: Prince Harry breaks silence on Black Lives Matter movement during speech at Diana Awards

“Now is the time, and we know that you can do it,” Harry concluded.

In recent news of Markle’s lawsuit against British Associated Papers, which publishes the Mail on Sunday and Mail Online, the mother of one said she felt “unprotected by the Institution” of the monarchy and was “prohibited from defending herself” against the media during her pregnancy.

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It just so happens that the couple’s final official outing as members of the Royal Family was in celebration of Commonwealth Day at Westminster Abbey in March.

meaghan.wray@globalnews.ca