The Duchess of Sussex has shared her devastation at racial division and protests in the United States in a graduation talk to her old high school.

In a video address, Meghan told leavers at the Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles: “I realised the only wrong thing to say is to say nothing, because George Floyd’s life mattered.”

Mr Floyd died after a white officer held him down by pressing a knee into his neck in Minneapolis on May 25, sparking days of protest in the US.

George Floyd died during an arrest in Minneapolis. Credit: Twitter/@AttorneyCrump

She went on to share her memories of living in the city through race riots in 1992, after police officers were filmed violently beating Rodney King.

Meghan told the all-girls school on Wednesday: “What is happening in our country and in our state and in our hometown of LA, has been absolutely devastating.

“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 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.”

The Duchess goes on to tell the pupils of her memories of the LA riots when she was younger.

“I was 11 or 12 years old and it was the LA riots, which was also triggered by a senseless act of racism," Meghan said.

“I remember the curfew and I remember rushing back home, and on that drive home, seeing ash fall from the sky, and smelling the smoke and seeing the smoke billow out of buildings.

“I remember seeing men in the back of a van just holding guns and rifles.

“I remember pulling up the house and seeing the tree, that had always been there, completely charred. And those memories don’t go away.”

The video was first reported by the African-American female US magazine Essence.

  • Watch the speech in full: