Prince Harry says ‘living in Meghan’s shoes’ helped him see unconscious racial bias

Olivia Petter
·2-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The Duke of Sussex has said that he didn’t know unconscious bias existed until he met the Duchess of Sussex.

Speaking to Black Lives Matter activist Patrick Hutchinson at British GQ’s GQ Heroes conference, the Prince explained that his privileged upbringing meant he was sheltered from such issues.

“Once you realise or you feel a little bit uncomfortable, then the onus is on you to go out and educate yourself, because ignorance is no longer an excuse,” he said.

"And unconscious bias, from my understanding, having the upbringing and the education that I had, I had no idea what it was.

“I had no idea it existed. And then, sad as it is to say, it took me many, many years to realise it, especially then living a day or a week in my wife's shoes.”

Prince Harry and Hutchinson also spoke about the fear of “saying the wrong thing” during discussions with friends about racism.

Hutchinson said: "Everything is up for discussion, because there's so much to talk about and people need to not be afraid.

“I think that can be a part of it. For some white people, I think they can be afraid. They're scared of saying the wrong thing, possibly.”

The Duke replied that while some white people have good intentions, they can still “get it massively wrong” when discussing racial issues.

“Not everyone's going to get it right. And from what I've seen, people are desperately trying to get it right – and even when trying to get it right, get it massively wrong,” he said.

“And as long as everyone comes at it with an element of, as you say, compassion, because it is scary for people, and it is the case that you're probably going to get it wrong, you just jump in both feet first. ”

Elsewhere in the interview, Prince Harry spoke about how lockdown has impacted men around the world.

“For so many people, but men especially, I guess, everyone's been suffering from some form of isolation over the last eight, nine months,” he said.

“But for men who are isolated by themselves, this can be a really dark place, unless you know the different solutions or different distractions that you can put into your life: whether it's going for a great walk or a run or just doing something that keeps you mentally and physically fit. So I love that."

You can watch the full interview here.

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