Daily US Times: Prince Harry and Meghan have encouraged Britain to reckon with its colonial past, highlighting the “wrongs” of its historic involvement in the countries that now make up the Commonwealth.
Harry said people must “acknowledge the past,” even when doing so is uncomfortable. He was speaking at a session of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust on Wednesday.
He said: “When you look across the Commonwealth, there is no way that we can move forward unless we acknowledge the past.”
“So many people have done such an incredible job of acknowledging the past and trying to right those wrongs, but I think we all acknowledge there is so much more still to do,” Harry said.
It’s not going to be easy, the Prince said, but added that it needs to be done because everybody benefits from it.
The Commonwealth is made up of 54 countries, almost all of which have colonial past with Britain as they previously ruled by Britain as part of its empire. Britain’s colonization has been reassessed in the wake of recent global anti-racism protests.
The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, also contributed to the session, which focused on how the Commonwealth can support young people.
She said: “We’re going to have to be a little uncomfortable right now, because it’s only in pushing through that discomfort that we get to the other side of this and find the place where a high tide raises all ships.”
Prince Harry discussed his own unconscious bias, saying: “We can’t deny or ignore the fact that all of us have been educated to see the world differently. However, once you start to realize that there is that bias there, then you need to acknowledge it, you need to do the work to become more aware … so that you can help stand up for something that is so wrong and should not be acceptable in our society today.”
Meghan pointed out that it’s not just in the big moments, it’s in the quiet moments where racism and unconscious bias lies and thrives.
“It makes it confusing for a lot of people to understand the role that they play in that, both passively and actively,” she added.
Protesters around the UK have demanded that some statues honoring colonial past, slave traders and imperialists be removed in recent weeks. A similar demand has taken place in other historical imperialist powers, including Belgium.
Meghan and Harry announced in early 2020 that they were quitting their roles as senior members of the royal family, and have since been spending most of their time in North America.
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