Posted on January 12, 2023

Prince Harry Says ‘None of Us Are Immune’ to Effects of Systemic Racism

Erin Hill and Janine Henni, People, January 10, 2023

Prince Harry‘s worldview changed after he met Meghan Markle.

The Duke of Sussex, 38, spoke about his personal growth in this week’s exclusive PEOPLE cover story as his memoir Spare hits bookshelves. Harry reflected on how his eyes were opened to racism in the media, royal institution and world at large after his relationship with his wife, who is biracial, began six years ago.

“My relationship with Meghan has opened my eyes to so much I fear I otherwise would have never fully understood. When we recognize bias within ourselves or others — we have a choice. Be part of the problem through inaction or part of the solution through change,” Prince Harry tells PEOPLE.

“We live in a world with systemic racism, and none of us are immune from the effects of that. I am someone who has long benefited from my place in society,” he says. “I understand that much better today than I once did. I had so much to learn and, equally, unlearn. {snip}”

“To this day I’m doing important and necessary work to understand and address unconscious bias — it’s ever-evolving and requires us to step up and speak out where we can — even when it’s our friends, families or loved ones,” Harry adds.


During a sit-down with ITV News anchor Tom Bradby, which aired Sunday night in the U.K., Bradby brought up Meghan’s revelation to Oprah Winfrey during their March 2021 interview that there were “concerns and conversations about how dark [Archie’s] skin might be when he’s born.”

Revisiting the claim, Bradby said, “In the Oprah interview, you accuse members of your family of racism…”

“No,” Harry interjected as he went on to explain the difference between racism and unconscious bias. “The British press said that. Did Meghan ever mention they’re racist?”

Bradby replied: “She said that there were troubling comments about Archie’s skin —

Harry interjected, “Yeah, there was concern about his skin color,” to which Bradby asked, “Right, but wouldn’t you describe that as essentially racism?”

“I wouldn’t. Not having lived within that family,” Harry said.

“The difference between racism and unconscious bias is, the two things are different. But once it’s been acknowledged, or pointed out to you as an individual or as an institution that you have unconscious bias, you, therefore, have an opportunity to learn and grow from that in order, so that you are part of the solution rather than part of the problem. Otherwise, unconscious bias then moves into the category of racism,” Harry continued.