Prince Harry apologises for ‘endemic racism’ to young Britons in impassioned speech








Harry apologised to younger generations that they have been let down in the fight for equality (Picture: Instagram/dianaaward/Getty) The Duke of Sussex has apologised for institutional racism and said that not enough has been done for younger generations to make society a fairer place.



In a surprise video message to children and young adults during The Diana Awards ceremony, Harry , 35, paid tribute to winners who were working to end racial inequality, adding that they give him the ‘greatest hope’ that things could change.



Harry appeared on behalf of both himself and his brother the Duke of Cambridge on what would have been their late mother Diana’s 59th birthday, as he told award winners that the Princess of Wales would have been ‘fighting your corner’.



Referring to a recent speech made by wife Meghan Markle , 38, in support of the Black Lives Matter movement to her old high school following the death of George Floyd, Harry echoed her words by apologising that generations before haven’t done enough to ‘right the wrongs of the past’.






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He said: ‘My wife said recently that our generation and the ones before us haven’t done enough to right the wrongs of the past.



‘I too, am sorry. Sorry that we haven’t got the world to the place that 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.’



His speech comes after Meghan told students at the Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles that Mr Floyd’s life ‘mattered’ and that ‘the only wrong thing to say is to say nothing,’ as she spoke of being ‘absolutely devastated’ over recent events.









Harry echoed wife Meghan’s speech saying that ‘unconscious bias must be acknowledged’ (Picture: AFP) Mr Floyd died after white police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for almost nine minutes in Minneapolis on May 25, sparking weeks of anti-racism protests in the US, the UK and around the world.



Speaking from Los Angeles, where he, Meghan and baby Archie moved after quitting as senior working royals, Harry gave a special mention to award winners who were being recognised for their work on race and injustice.



‘Right now we’re seeing situations around the world where division, isolation and anger are dominating as pain and trauma come to the surface,’ he said.



‘But I see the greatest hope in people like you and I’m confident about the world’s future and its ability to heal because it is in your hands.’



Referring to himself and the Duchess of Sussex, who became the first mixed race person to marry a senior royal, he said: ‘I want you to know that we are committed to being part of the solution and to being part of the change you are all leading.



‘Now is the time and we know that you can do it.’






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In a show of solidarity on their mother’s birthday, William and the Duchess of Cambridge’s official Kensington Royal Twitter account tweeted a link to the full awards ceremony which included Harry’s speech, and, in a rare move, spoke jointly on behalf of William and Harry.



The post read: ‘The Duke of Cambridge and The Duke of Sussex are proud to congratulate the incredible changemakers that are the recipients of the #2020DianaAwards.’



Harry previously split from the Cambridges’ royal household the year before quitting royal duties, while reports suggested the brothers had later fallen out.



Speaking about Diana on Wednesday, Harry acknowledged she ‘never took the easy route’. The charity was set up in memory of the princess who was killed in a car crash in 1997 when Harry was 12 and William 15.



‘I know that my mother has been an inspiration to many of you and I can assure you she would have been fighting your corner,’ he said.









Harry spoke on behalf of himself and Prince William on what would have been their mother Princess Diana’s 59th birthday (Picture: Getty) ‘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.’



Harry paid tribute to a number of the award winners including 24-year-old James Frater from London.



Mr Frater, who as a young boy had 300 detentions and exclusions from school, said his life was turned around after he was mentored by four teachers.



He is now training to become a doctor and has focused on creating initiatives to increase the representation of black students at university, particularly at Russell Group ones.



Mr Frater, who spoke after the duke, was one of the 184 people – children and young adults – presented with a Diana Award accolade this year for social action or humanitarian efforts.









James Frater was one of the award winners who Harry paid tribute to for his efforts in fighting against systemic racism (Picture: @dianaaward) Others championed by the duke included 23-year-old Nasra Ayub from Bristol who is an activist at Integrate UK, a youth-led charity that works towards gender and racial equality and cross-cultural cohesion.



She has provided consultation to two Prime Ministers, joined meetings at the Home Office and has represented the organisation at the African Union, Ethiopia.



Others name-checked by Harry included Demetri Addison, 19, from Jamaica, who is an advocate for young people in the face of rising youth violence, along with Jhemar Jonas, 17, who raises awareness about youth violence in south London.



He also mentioned Shanea Kerry Oldham, 19, from London, who developed the Operation Inspire mentoring programme for young boys that were excluded internally and founded Your Life More Life, which creates safe spaces for young people impacted by serious youth violence.



More: Prince Harry

Prince Harry apologises for 'endemic racism' to young Britons in impassioned speech
Meghan Markle calls black teenager 'set on fire in racist attack by white men'
Meghan and Harry don hair nets and face masks to volunteer at LA bakery Marvel Mthembu, 22, from Johannesburg, was also recognised by the duke for setting up the international organisation Crushing The Barriers.



Harry said: ‘People like Nasra, James, Demetri and Jhemar, Shanea and Marvel, you are six young people that my brother and I are proud to specifically recognise tonight, and it is your voice that is far more important than mine.’



The Vamps star James McVey hosted the 2020 Diana Awards, and celebrities including singers Liam Payne and Bastille’s Dan Smith, actor Will Poulter, and actress Dame Emma Thompson were among those who recorded virtual messages honouring the award winners.



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