Prince Harry addresses Black Lives Matter during speech for Diana Awards

Duke of Sussex says: 'Unconscious bias must be acknowledged without blame to create a better world for all of you'

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Wednesday 01 July 2020 21:11
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Prince Harry addresses Black Lives Matter during speech on his mother's birthday

Prince Harry has addressed the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement and of dismantling institutional racism while delivering a virtual speech during the Diana Awards.

On Wednesday, on what would have been Princess Diana’s 59th birthday, the Duke of Sussex shared a video message for the award ceremony, which honours young people who follow in his late mother’s charitable footsteps.

“I am so incredibly proud to be part of these awards, as they honour the legacy of my mother and bring out the very best in people like you,” Prince Harry said. “You are all doing such incredible work and at a time of great uncertainty, you have found the power and inspiration inside of you to make a positive mark on the world. And I love that The Diana Award is able to help you do it.

"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.

“But she stood for something, and she stood up for people who needed it.”

The duke then addressed the Black Lives Matter movement and the “situations around the world where division, isolation and anger are dominating as pain and trauma come to the surface”.

According to Prince Harry, both he and his wife Meghan Markle believe their generation and previous generations have not done enough to combat institutional racism, for which he apologised.

“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."

Prince Harry concluded his speech expressing his commitment to “being part of the solution and to being part of the change that you are all leading”.

“Now is the time and we know that you can do it," he added.

This is not the first time the royal couple has used their platform to speak out against racial discrimination in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death.

In June, Meghan addressed Floyd’s death during a virtual address to graduating students at her former high school, Immaculate Heart High School.

During her speech, the duchess said she was initially nervous about what to say, before realising 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 don't know. Stephon Clark. His life mattered," she said. “The first thing I want to say to you is that I'm sorry.

“I'm so sorry you have to grow up in a world where this is still present."

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