Duchess of Sussex: Situation in US ‘absolutely devastating’

The Duchess of Sussex has shared her devastation at racial division and protests in the United States in a graduation talk to her old high school.

In a video address, Meghan told leavers at the Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles: "I realised the only wrong thing to say is to say nothing, because George Floyd's life mattered."

Mr Floyd died after a white officer held him down by pressing a knee into his neck in Minneapolis on May 25, sparking days of protest in the US.

She went on to share her memories of living in the city through race riots in 1992, after police officers were filmed violently beating Rodney King.

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Meghan and Harry at the Endeavour Fund Awards
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Meghan and Harry at the Endeavour Fund Awards
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 05: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend The Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House on March 05, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 05: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend The Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House on March 05, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attending the Endeavour Fund Awards held at the Mansion House, London on Thursday March 5, 2020. Photo credit should read: Doug Peters/EMPICS
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attending the Endeavour Fund Awards held at the Mansion House, London on Thursday March 5, 2020. Photo credit should read: Doug Peters/EMPICS
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attending the Endeavour Fund Awards held at the Mansion House, London on Thursday March 5, 2020. Photo credit should read: Doug Peters/EMPICS
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attending the Endeavour Fund Awards held at the Mansion House, London on Thursday March 5, 2020. Photo credit should read: Doug Peters/EMPICS
Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrive at the annual Endeavour Fund Awards in London, Thursday, March 5, 2020. The awards celebrate the achievements of service personnel who were injured in service and have gone on to use sport as part of their recovery and rehabilitation. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrive at the annual Endeavour Fund Awards in London, Thursday, March 5, 2020. The awards celebrate the achievements of service personnel who were injured in service and have gone on to use sport as part of their recovery and rehabilitation. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 05: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex accompanied by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex attends The Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House on March 05, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (R) and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive to attend the Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House in London on March 5, 2020. - The Endeavour Fund helps servicemen and women have the opportunity to rediscover their self-belief and fighting spirit through physical challenges. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (R) and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive to attend the Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House in London on March 5, 2020. - The Endeavour Fund helps servicemen and women have the opportunity to rediscover their self-belief and fighting spirit through physical challenges. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 05: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex attend The Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House on March 05, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Harry (C-L), Duke of Sussex, and Meghan (C-R), Duchess of Sussex attend the Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House in London on March 5, 2020. - The Endeavour Fund helps servicemen and women have the opportunity to rediscover their self-belief and fighting spirit through physical challenges. (Photo by PAUL EDWARDS / POOL / AFP) (Photo by PAUL EDWARDS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Harry (C-R), Duke of Sussex, and Meghan (C-L), Duchess of Sussex attend the Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House in London on March 5, 2020. - The Endeavour Fund helps servicemen and women have the opportunity to rediscover their self-belief and fighting spirit through physical challenges. (Photo by Paul Edwards / POOL / AFP) (Photo by PAUL EDWARDS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex delivers a speech during the Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House in London on March 5, 2020. - The Endeavour Fund helps servicemen and women have the opportunity to rediscover their self-belief and fighting spirit through physical challenges. (Photo by Paul Edwards / POOL / AFP) (Photo by PAUL EDWARDS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Harry (2nd-L), Duke of Sussex, and Meghan (3rd-L), Duchess of Sussex attend the Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House in London on March 5, 2020. - The Endeavour Fund helps servicemen and women have the opportunity to rediscover their self-belief and fighting spirit through physical challenges. (Photo by Paul Edwards / POOL / AFP) (Photo by PAUL EDWARDS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Meghan (L), Duchess of Sussex attends the Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House in London on March 5, 2020. - The Endeavour Fund helps servicemen and women have the opportunity to rediscover their self-belief and fighting spirit through physical challenges. (Photo by Paul Edwards / POOL / AFP) (Photo by PAUL EDWARDS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex delivers a speech during the Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House in London on March 5, 2020. - The Endeavour Fund helps servicemen and women have the opportunity to rediscover their self-belief and fighting spirit through physical challenges. (Photo by Paul Edwards / POOL / AFP) (Photo by PAUL EDWARDS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (L), and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex leave after attending the Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House in London on March 5, 2020. - The Endeavour Fund helps servicemen and women have the opportunity to rediscover their self-belief and fighting spirit through physical challenges. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (L) leaves after attending the Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House in London on March 5, 2020. - The Endeavour Fund helps servicemen and women have the opportunity to rediscover their self-belief and fighting spirit through physical challenges. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (L), and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex leave after attending the Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House in London on March 5, 2020. - The Endeavour Fund helps servicemen and women have the opportunity to rediscover their self-belief and fighting spirit through physical challenges. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 05: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex during the annual Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House on March 5, 2020 in London, England. Their Royal Highnesses will celebrate the achievements of wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women who have taken part in remarkable sporting and adventure challenges over the last year. (Photo by Paul Edwards - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 05: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex presents an award during the annual Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House on March 5, 2020 in London, England. Their Royal Highnesses will celebrate the achievements of wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women who have taken part in remarkable sporting and adventure challenges over the last year. (Photo by Paul Edwards - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Harry (L), Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive to attend the Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House in London on March 5, 2020. - The Endeavour Fund helps servicemen and women have the opportunity to rediscover their self-belief and fighting spirit through physical challenges. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
The Duke of Sussex speaks at the Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House in London.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex leave Mansion House in London after attending the Endeavour Fund Awards.
05/03/2020 - Prince Harry Duke of Sussex and Meghan Markle Duchess of Sussex at the annual Endeavour Fund Awards held at Mansion House in London. Their Royal Highnesses will celebrate the achievements of wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women who have taken part in remarkable sporting and adventure challenges over the last year. Photo Credit: Credit: ALP-Admedia / MediaPunch /IPX
05/03/2020 - Prince Harry Duke of Sussex and Meghan Markle Duchess of Sussex at the annual Endeavour Fund Awards held at Mansion House in London. Their Royal Highnesses will celebrate the achievements of wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women who have taken part in remarkable sporting and adventure challenges over the last year. Photo Credit: Credit: ALP-Admedia / MediaPunch /IPX
05/03/2020 - Prince Harry Duke of Sussex and Meghan Markle Duchess of Sussex at the annual Endeavour Fund Awards held at Mansion House in London. Their Royal Highnesses will celebrate the achievements of wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women who have taken part in remarkable sporting and adventure challenges over the last year. Photo Credit: Credit: ALP-Admedia / MediaPunch /IPX
05/03/2020 - Prince Harry Duke of Sussex and Meghan Markle Duchess of Sussex at the annual Endeavour Fund Awards held at Mansion House in London. Their Royal Highnesses will celebrate the achievements of wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women who have taken part in remarkable sporting and adventure challenges over the last year. Photo Credit: Credit: ALP-Admedia / MediaPunch /IPX
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Meghan told the all-girls school on Wednesday: "What is happening in our country and in our state and in our hometown of LA, has been absolutely devastating.

"I wasn't sure what I could say to you. I wanted to say the right thing and I was really nervous that I wouldn't, or it would get picked apart.

"And I realised 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 do not know."

The video was first reported by the African-American female US magazine Essence, which reported her saying: "I was 11 or 12 years old and it was the LA riots, which was also triggered by a senseless act of racism.

"I remember the curfew and I remember rushing back home, and on that drive home, seeing ash fall from the sky, and smelling the smoke and seeing the smoke billow out of buildings.

"I remember seeing men in the back of a van just holding guns and rifles.

"I remember pulling up the house and seeing the tree, that had always been there, completely charred. And those memories don't go away."

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