Prince Harry says upbringing blinded him to unconscious racial prejudice. From Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive in London for the Endeavor Fund Awards

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LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Prince Harry said it took him years to realize that unconscious racial prejudice had existed and his eyes had been opened by spending time in his wife Meghan’s shoes.

The prince spoke during a conversation about racism with Patrick Hutchinson, the black activist photographed by Reuters as he escorted a white man to safety during a battle between anti-racism protesters and far-right opponents in London in June.

Harry told Hutchinson that he saw him as a “guardian angel” protecting everyone at the demonstration. Both men said there was still a lot to be done to combat all forms of discrimination.

“Subconscious prejudices, from my understanding, upbringing, and training that I had, I had no idea what it was. I had no idea it existed,” Harry said during the online conversation for one last week The magazine’s article was recorded by GQ.

“And then, sadly as they say, it took me many, many years to realize it, especially if I lived in my wife’s shoes for a day or a week,” added the prince. Meghan’s father is white and her mother is African American.

Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have made multiple comments on racial issues since stepping down from their roles as working members of the royal family and moving to California in late March.

Hutchinson, 50, told Harry that a friend who had gathered a group at an earlier protest that injured a police officer to see if they could help keep order.

“We were all protecting and, it turned out, someone on the other side … I would do it for anyone and I would do it over and over,” he said.

The prince asked him how he saw the continued opposition to protests against racism.

“It’s frustrating,” said the father of four. “One wonders why it is so difficult for people to understand what we are all striving for: the equality side of things.”

(The story corrects paragraph 7 to show that it was one of Hutchinson’s friends who was at the earlier protest)

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