Duchess of Sussex tells school of 'devastating' racism

'I’m so sorry that you have to grow up in a world where this is still present,' Meghan Markle tells pupils following George Floyd's murder

Catherine Lough

Meghan Markle

The Duchess of Sussex has addressed graduating class at her former high school in Los Angeles, speaking out about racism in the wake of George Floyd's murder at the hands of police on 25 May.

Speaking to pupils at her former school, Immaculate Heart High School, via a video message, Meghan Markle said she was sorry "you have to grow up in a world where this is still present".


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"What is happening in our country, and in our state, and in our hometown of LA has been absolutely devastating," she said.

"And I wasn’t sure what I could say to you – I wanted to say the right thing, and I was really nervous that I wouldn’t or that it would get picked apart, and I realised, the only wrong thing to say is to say nothing.

"Because George Floyd’s life mattered, and Breonna Taylor’s life mattered, and Philando Castile’s life mattered and Tamir Rice’s life mattered and so did so many other people whose names we know and whose names we do not know," she said, referring to African Americans killed by police - the youngest of whom, Tamir Rice, was just 12 years' old when he was shot by police in 2014.

The Duchess said she recalled a teacher advising her before she embarked on a school volunteering programme to "'always remember to put others’ needs above your own fears'".

"And that has stuck with me through my entire life, and I have thought about it more in the last week than ever before. So first thing I want to say to you is that I’m sorry. I’m so sorry that you have to grow up in a world where this is still present," she said. 

 

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author bio

Catherine Lough

Catherine Lough is a reporter at Tes.

Find me on Twitter @CathImogenLough

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