Institutional racism is endemic says Harry and commits to changing our societies

Video report by ITV News Royal Editor Chris Ship

Prince Harry says institutional racism is still “endemic” in our societies and has pledged that he and Meghan will be “part of the change” that is needed.

The Duke of Sussex was speaking from his new home in California in a video message for an award ceremony in his late mother’s name.

July 1 was Princess Diana’s birthday and she would have been 59.

Watch Harry's message on racism

The Diana Award recipients held a virtual ceremony online because of coronavirus.

The Duke told them that he and the Duchess were concerned that “this generation and the one before us haven’t done enough to write the wrongs of the past”.

Harry said: “Institutional racism has no place in our societies. Yet it is still endemic.”

Royal Editor Chris Ship discusses Harry's message on racism

"I, too, am sorry”, he said, “sorry that we have not got the world to a place you deserve it to be.”

It’s the first time Harry has spoken about the racism debate following the death of George Floyd.

Meghan recently spoke about the Black Lives Matter movement when she addressed students at her former school in Los Angeles.

Protests and violence erupted in countries around the world after the death of Floyd in the US city of Minneapolis. 

Harry and Meghan have moved to the USA to start a new life there. Credit: PA

Harry said: “I want you to know that we are committed to being part of the solution and to being part of the change that you are leading.”

He added that unconscious bias - learned stereotypes that are automatic and unintentional in certain social groups - must “be acknowledged without blame to create a better world”.

The Prince, who officially left as a working member of the royal family at the end of March, has now settled with Meghan and their son Archie in Los Angeles where they intend to start new lives.

Harry also spoke of his mother’s legacy on her birthday - a day which must still be very difficult for him.

He told the Diana Award recipients: “Like many of you, she never took the easy route, or the popular one, or the comfortable one but she stood for something.

"And she stood up for people who needed it.”

Only Harry spoke at the Awards, but the message was delivered on behalf of his brother, Prince William, too.