Harry: Living in Meghan’s shoes taught me unconscious bias existed

The Duke of Sussex has admitted his privileged upbringing as a member of the royal family meant he had no understanding of unconscious racial bias.

Harry said it took him many years – and the experience of "living" in wife Meghan's shoes – to recognise the issue, during a conversation with Black Lives Matter supporter 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, 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."

Harry and the activist chat via video call (British GQ)

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 and 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."

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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 14: A graffiti mural of Prince Harry is seen during the coronavirus pandemic on April 14, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - People walk past graffiti of Prince Harry wearing a hoodie reading "Keep Calm and Wash Your Hands," on April 7, 2020, during the coronavirus pandemic in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)
April 26th 2020 - Melania Trump, First Lady of The United States of America, celebrates her 50th birthday. She was born in Yugoslavia (now Slovenia) on April 26th 1970. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-375/STAR MAX/IPx 2017 9/23/17 First Lady of The United States Melania Trump and Prince Harry at a bilateral meeting on day one of the Invictus Games in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
A general view of the gated neighborhood where Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are looking to establish their residence, Serra Retreat in Malibu, California on April 01, 2020. - The pair, who formally stepped down as senior members of the British royal family this week, have reportedly already relocated to sunny California. They are currently rumored to be hunkering down at a compound in Malibu, the exclusive beach community outside Los Angeles long favored by A-listers and movie moguls. (Photo by JEAN-BAPTISTE LACROIX / AFP) (Photo by JEAN-BAPTISTE LACROIX/AFP via Getty Images)
A general view of the guard cabin at the entrance of the gated neighborhood where Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are looking to establish their residence, Serra Retreat in Malibu, California on April 01, 2020. - The pair, who formally stepped down as senior members of the British royal family this week, have reportedly already relocated to sunny California. They are currently rumored to be hunkering down at a compound in Malibu, the exclusive beach community outside Los Angeles long favored by A-listers and movie moguls. (Photo by JEAN-BAPTISTE LACROIX / AFP) (Photo by JEAN-BAPTISTE LACROIX/AFP via Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 26: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex attends the Australian Geographic Society Awards to present youth awards to honour the highest achievements in conservation and adventure at the Grand Ballroom, Shangri-La Hotel in Sydney on October 26, 2018. Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are on day 11 of their 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific. (Photo by Paul Edwards - Pool/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 26: Editor-In-Chief of Australian Geographic Chrissie Goldrick (L) presents Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex with a medal for the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy project at the Australian Geographic Society Awards honouring the highest achievements in conservation and adventure at the Grand Ballroom, Shangri-La Hotel in Sydney on October 26, 2018. Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are on day 11 of their 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific. (Photo by Paul Edwards - Pool/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 26: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attends the Australian Geographic Society Awards to present youth awards to honour the highest achievements in conservation and adventure at the Grand Ballroom, Shangri-La Hotel in Sydney on October 26, 2018. Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are on day 11 of their 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific. (Photo by Paul Edwards - Pool/Getty Images)
A general view of the guard gated neighborhood where Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are looking to establish their residence, Serra Retreat in Malibu, California on April 01, 2020. - The pair, who formally stepped down as senior members of the British royal family this week, have reportedly already relocated to sunny California. They are currently rumored to be hunkering down at a compound in Malibu, the exclusive beach community outside Los Angeles long favored by A-listers and movie moguls. (Photo by JEAN-BAPTISTE LACROIX / AFP) (Photo by JEAN-BAPTISTE LACROIX/AFP via Getty Images)
A sign points to the gated neighborhood near the Malibu country mart where Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are looking to establish there residence, Serra Retreat, Malibu, California on April 01, 2020. - The pair, who formally stepped down as senior members of the British royal family this week, have reportedly already relocated to sunny California. They are currently rumored to be hunkering down at a compound in Malibu, the exclusive beach community outside Los Angeles long favored by A-listers and movie moguls. (Photo by JEAN-BAPTISTE LACROIX / AFP) (Photo by JEAN-BAPTISTE LACROIX/AFP via Getty Images)
People walk past graffiti of Prince Harry wearing a hoodie reading "Keep Calm and Wash Your Hands," on April 7, 2020, during the coronavirus pandemic in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)
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