"I had no idea it existed," shared the Duke of Sussex. "And then, sad as it is to say, it took me many, many years to realize it."
Prince Harry says his royal upbringing didn't prepare him for conversations about unconscious bias and racial inequality. It was only after meeting his wife, Meghan Markle, that he began to understand systemic racism.
"Unconscious bias, from my understanding, having the upbringing and the education that I had, I had no idea what it was," he admitted, during the launch of British GQ's Heroes Festival.
"I had no idea it existed. And then, sad as it is to say, it took me many, many years to realize it, especially then living a day or a week in my wife's shoes."
Prince Harry was joined by Patrick Hutchinson, an activist who rose to fame when he was photographed carrying an injured white man to safety during chaotic protests in London earlier this year.
[email protected] photo of Black protestor carrying suspected far-right protester to safety inspires contemporary orchestra… https://t.co/sWhrek6YVz— PR Team at Reuters (@PR Team at Reuters)1603477762.0
The two men highlighted the need for continuing conversations regarding race, privilege, and power.
"If you're not aware of your own bias and you're not aware of the culture within your system," asked the Duke of Sussex, "then how are we ever going to progress? How are we ever going to get to that point where there is more fairness? Because it's not a zero-sum game, right? Everyone benefits if the Black community gets treated the way they should be treated."
Prince Harry acknowledged that conversations about race and inequality can feel uncomfortable at first. But it's important to keep those dialogues open—and to learn from them.
Prince Harry and Patrick Hutchinson discuss how to further anti-racism | British GQ www.youtube.com
"And from what I've seen, people are desperately trying to get it right – and even when trying to get it right, get it massively wrong," he explained. "And as long as everyone comes at it with an element of, as you say, compassion, because it is scary for people, and it is the case that you're probably going to get it wrong, you just jump in both feet first. And you may still get it wrong, but I guarantee you there'll be the right support structure and people around to go, "You know what? A word of warning: maybe do this and don't say that."
"The other part of this is we may not see change in a day, in a week, in a month, in a year, but every single act, every single decision, that resilience matters," he continued. "The whole truth will come out and people will start to learn, people will start to educate themselves. And things will change."
Mr. Hutchinson and Prince Harry also discussed their most important roles—fathers. The Duke explained that everything he does is for his son, Archie.
"This is a global movement. The train has left the station. If you're not on it now, then get on it because there's so much that we can do. And being a dad myself, the whole point in life, I guess, for me, is to try to leave the world in a better place than when you found it."