Duchess of Sussex 'devastated' to return and see 'state of affairs' in US

14 August 2020, 23:28

Meghan ‘devastated’ to return and see state of US

By Megan White

The Duchess of Sussex said that it was "devastating" to return to the United States and see the "state of affairs" it was in.

Speaking at a virtual event organised by The 19th, a US non-profit, non-partisan newsroom, Meghan said it was "so sad to see where our country was in that moment".

But she said that she was inspired by the response to the death of George Floyd, and was looking forward to using her voice in a "way I haven't been able to of late".

Meghan added: "To come back and to just see the state of affairs, I think at the onset if I'm being honest it was just devastating.

"It was so sad to see where our country was in that moment and if there's any silver lining in that I would say that in the weeks that were happening after the murder of George Floyd, in the peaceful protests you were seeing, in the voices that were coming out, in the way that people were actually owning their role and acknowledging their role that they played, either actively or passively, in the discrimination of other people, specifically of the black community.

"It shifted from sadness to a feeling of absolute inspiration because I can see that the tide is turning.

"It's not new to see this undercurrent of racism and certainly unconscious bias, but I think to see the changes that are being made right now, it's something that I look forward to being a part of and using my voice in a way I haven't been able to of late."

African American Mr Floyd died after a police officer held him down by pressing his knee into his neck for almost nine minutes, in Minneapolis on May 25.

The incident was captured on video and sparked a wave of anti-racism protests in the US and across the globe, including in the UK.

The Duchess also discussed how there is so much toxicity in the "economy for attention" online and in the media.

She added: "There's so much toxicity out there in what's being referred to, my husband and I talk about it often, this economy for attention.

"That is what is monetisable right now when you're looking at the digital space and media.

"So if you are just trying to grab someone's attention and keep it you're going for something salacious versus something truthful.

"Once we can get back to the place... where people are just telling the truth in their reporting and telling it through a compassionate or empathetic lens it's going to help bind people as community that I think at the moment we are feeling more of a disconnect in a space where we could be feeling more of a connection."

Meghan's comments come after it emerged she and Harry had bought a property in the celebrity hotspot of Santa Barbara for a reported £11 million.

The couple had been house-hunting for some time after relocating to the US from Canada just before the coronavirus lockdown.

Harry and Meghan plunged the royal family into a period of crisis when they announced earlier in the year they wanted to step back from their positions as senior royals and become financially independent.

A summit of senior royals was convened by the Queen at Sandringham to discuss the issue, with Harry sitting down for talks with his grandmother, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge.

It was later announced they would no longer be working members of the monarchy, split their time between Canada and the UK, with the majority spent in North America, and no longer be known as HRH.