Prince Harry says living ‘in my wife’s shoes’ taught him about unconscious bias

Britain's Prince Harry and his wife, former actress Meghan Markle
Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife, former actress Meghan Markle, arrive at an awards banquet in London in March.
(Kirsty Wigglesworth / Associated Press)

Prince Harry says it took him many years and the experience of living with his wife, the former actress Meghan Markle, to understand how his privileged upbringing shielded him from the reality of unconscious bias.

The prince talked about racial inequality and social justice in a video discussion with Black Lives Matter activist Patrick Hutchinson as part of the GQ Heroes Conference, which is being broadcast this week.

“Unconscious bias, from my understanding, having had the upbringing and the education that I have, I had no idea what it was,” Harry said. “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.”


Harry, a grandson of Queen Elizabeth II, was raised in the royal family and educated at the exclusive English prep school Eton before serving in the British Army. He married Markle, a biracial American television star, in 2018, in a church service at Windsor Castle attended by royalty and celebrities.

The couple stepped away from royal duties earlier this year, saying they wanted to become self-sufficient. In August, they and their young son moved to a multimillion-dollar estate in California’s Santa Barbara County.

The prince described the social justice movement as a train that “has left the station” and said now is the time for everyone to contribute to making the world a better place.

Black Britons say that racism helped drive out the royal couple. Nigel Farage, a prominent voice in the Brexit debate, disagrees.

“You can’t really point fingers, especially when it comes to unconscious bias,” Harry said. “But once you realize or you feel a little bit uncomfortable, then the onus is on you to go out and educate yourself because ignorance is no longer an excuse.”

Hutchinson, a personal trainer, was thrust into the spotlight in June when he was photographed at a Black Lives Matter protest in London carrying an injured counter-protester to safety.

Harry, speaking from his home in California, praised Hutchinson for his selflessness.

“You just came in, you did what was necessary and you saved a life,” Harry said. “And in doing so, you have changed the narrative for those protests.”

Prince Harry and the former actress Meghan Markle have repaid $3.2 million in tax money used to renovate their originally intended home in England.

Hutchinson said he attended the protest to make sure the protesters didn’t do anything they would regret.

“So it wasn’t just us down there protecting the young Black protesters, it was us protecting everybody — and, as it turned out, somebody on the other side,’’ he said.