Prince Harry: There is no way we can move forward unless we acknowledge the past
Prince Harry believes people need to “acknowledge the past” to “move forward” and create a fairer society.
The 35-year-old royal and his wife, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, participated in a video call for the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust – for which they are the president and vice president respectively – to discuss fairness, justice and equal rights with youth leaders.
During the call, Harry said all Commonwealth nations must accept their past mistakes in order to learn from them.
He said: “When you look across the Commonwealth, there is no way that we can move forward unless we acknowledge the past. And I think so many people have done such an amazing, incredible job of acknowledging the past and trying to right those wrongs, but I think we all acknowledge on here that there’s so much more still to do.
“It’s not going to be easy and in some cases, and in some cases it’s not going to be comfortable. But it needs to be done because, guess what? Everybody benefits. I think there’s a hell of a lot that we together need to acknowledge, but I only see hope and optimism in the fact that we could only do this together.”
Meghan, 38, also joined in the discussion, saying the process of ending prejudices might be “a little uncomfortable” at first, but insisted the “growing pains” will ease off with time.
She explained: “Growing pains are painful. This process is painful and it has been for a long time. But through that immense pain, what we can have tremendous faith in is knowing that there will be growth. And that’s what we’re seeing happen every single day.”
The Duchess of Sussex said her “personal experience” with racism has led her to have a better understanding of it but praised people for coming together following the death of unarmed Black man George Floyd.
She added: “It’s the nuances, I think, that makes it confusing for a lot of people to understand the role that they play in that, either passively and actively, but I think even more so passively.
“In people’s complacency, they’re complicit. And that, I think, is the shift we’re seeing. It’s not enough to be a bystander and say, ‘Well, it wasn’t me.’ And that’s what I think is very much manifested in what your feeling from people’s outpouring surrounding the murder of George Floyd. It wasn’t that this wasn’t always happening, it’s that it’s come to a head at time where people just said, ‘Enough.’ “