Prince Harry has admitted his privileged upbringing as a member of the Royal Family meant he had “no idea” unconscious racial bias existed.
The Duke of Sussex said it took him many years – and the experience of “living” in wife Meghan Markle’s shoes – to recognise the issue in a chat with Black Lives Matter activist Patrick Hutchinson.
Mr Hutchinson rose to fame after he was photographed carrying an injured white man to safety during a violent far-right rally.
The personal trainer’s actions were repeatedly praised by the Duke.
The two men spoke to launch British GQ’s Heroes Festival, the men’s magazine’s annual summit of ideas, culture and thought leadership.
Chatting from his home in Santa Barbara, California in the US, via video call, Harry said: “No one’s pointing the fingers.
“You can’t really point fingers, especially when it comes to unconscious bias.
“But 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.”
As the son of the Prince of Wales, Harry had all the privileges associated with his position and was educated at the exclusive Eton College.
He went on to train as an Army officer at Sandhurst.
The Duke and the Duchess have spoken extensively about race in recent months.
In an interview and accompanying article in the Evening Standard to mark Black History Month, they said there was a lost generation of “people of colour” whose contribution to UK society will remain “untapped” as long as structural racism exists.
The prince and the personal trainer were brought together by GQ as part of its content to support Black History Month.
Prince Harry urged people of all backgrounds to get involved in racial issues.
He said: “This is a global movement. The train has left the station. If you’re not on it now then get on it because there’s so much that we can do.
“And being a dad myself, the whole point in life, I guess, for me, is to try to leave the world in a better place than when you found it.”