LONDON: Prince Harry has urged the Commonwealth, which his grandmother heads, to acknowledge its uncomfortable colonial past, in video extracts published on Monday.
The 35-year-old royal and his wife, Meghan, joined a video conference call with leaders organised by the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust (QCT) from their base in the US.
The sessions were set up in response to the growing Black Lives Matter movement, sparked by the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, during a US police arrest.
Harry last week outlined his personal commitment to tackling institutional racism, saying it had “no place” in society but was still too widespread.
On the July 1 call, posted on the QCT website, 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.
“It’s not going to be easy and in some cases, it’s not going to be comfortable, but it needs to be done, because, guess what, everybody benefits.”
Queen Elizabeth II is the head of the Commonwealth, a non-political organisation of 54 countries, most of which have links to the British Empire.
It comprises 2.4 billion people – a quarter of the world’s population – of which 60% are aged under 30.
The QCT was set up to give younger people from member nations a platform to share ideas and insights.
The chief executive of the QCT, Nicola Brentnall, has said the body is studying how the Commonwealth’s colonial past and its legacy should shape its future.
Harry and Meghan stepped down from frontline royal duties this year and have set up a non-profit organisation focusing on the promoting of mental health, education and well-being.
Meghan, a mixed-race US former actress, has previously talked about her own personal experience of racism and unconscious bias.
Former army officer Harry has also complained about the “racial undertones” of media coverage of his wife.
The couple are president and vice-president respectively of the QCT.