The Duke of Sussex today said he didn’t know unconscious race bias existed until he lived “a day or a week” in his wife Meghan’s shoes.
Prince Harry, 36, addressed racism in a conversation with Black Lives Matter activist Patrick Hutchinson - who was hailed a hero after carrying a counter-protestor to safety following a demonstration in London this summer.
In the interview for GQ magazine, the prince said his “upbringing and education” did not equip him to understand the issue.
He revealed he was “sad to say” it took him “many, many years to realise” how much it impacted those affected - and that watching his wife experience racism forced him to wake up to the problem.
Harry said: “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.
“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.”
The prince spoke to Mr Hutchinson from his home in Montecito, California, where he now lives with Meghan and their son Archie, one.
Mr Hutchinson, who was raised in Battersea, south London, said he had suffered from “unconscious bias” when he worked in the City in IT. He said he got tired of battling for a pay rise and to be treated “fairly and equally.”
Harry said while there was “lots of work to do” globally with regard to racism, he felt like “the world is heading in the right direction.”
He said as the world tries to move towards equality, social media was one of the “worst places to have” conversations about race.
“As we go through this process, as we’re going through this transition, whatever you want to call it, people are going to make mistakes and it’s going to be noticed,” he said.
“But we can’t continue to scream and shout at each other and social media is the worst place to have these conversations, because it rips out the context. And everyone’s opinionated and having a go in, whatever it is, a sentence or 300 characters.
"These are conversations that need to be had across all corners of society and all platforms of power as well, because that’s where the difference is going to be made.”
Harry also spoke to Mr Hutchinson, a personal trainer, about the pressures of the coronavirus lockdown on men in particular.
“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.”
The image of father-of-two Mr Hutchinson rescuing Bryn Male during race violence in June as shared widely around the world.
On the incident, Mr Hutchinson said: “On how do you change the world? It’s one random act of kindness at a time. And if everybody did that, can you imagine what the world would be like?”