NEWS
31/07/2019 7:28 PM AEST

Prince Harry Speaks Out On 'Unconscious Bias' And Racism In Vogue Interview

The royal interviewed activist and chimpanzee expert Dr Jane Goodall for the latest edition of magazine, which is guest-edited by his wife.

Prince Harry has addressed the topic of racism in an exclusive British Vogue interview.  

The royal interviewed activist and chimpanzee expert Dr Jane Goodall for the latest edition of British Vogue after being commissioned by his wife Meghan Markle, who is guest-editing the fashion bible.

When the duke asked Goodall how her study of primates had impacted upon how she felt about people, the discussion turned to the issue of violence and racism.

Goodall, a childhood hero of the duke and his wife, said it was “obvious” mankind had “inherited aggressive tendencies” but human brains were able to control anger.

She added: ”[Children] don’t notice, ‘My skin’s white, mine’s black,’ until somebody tells them.”

The duke said the same applied to “unconscious bias”, where someone’s words or actions could be perceived as racist, but if confronted the person would deny it.

He added: “I’m not saying that you’re a racist, I’m just saying that your unconscious bias is proving that, because of the way that you’ve been brought up, the environment you’ve been brought up in, suggests that you have this point of view.”

Meghan, who is mixed race, has been the target of repeated racist abuse from online trolls and some British tabloids since the pair’s relationship came to light.

This prompted the prince to issue a rare statement via Kensington Palace in November 2016 about the harassment being experienced by the duchess and her relatives. 

Called for her privacy, the statement condemned the “wave of abuse and harassment” aimed at Markle, calling out “the racial undertones of comment pieces and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments”.

US recording artist Pharrell Williams told the royal couple at the Lion King premiere that their interracial relationship is “significant for many of us” in “today’s climate”, Harpers Baazer reported.

The duke and duchess reportedly nodded at Williams’ warm comments.

“Thank you so much. That’s so nice of you to say. [...] They don’t make it easy,” Markle replied.

On Monday, the duchess’ Vogue editorship was announced.

She has brought together 15 women for the cover, including actress Jane Fonda and climate change campaigner Greta Thunberg, for what is considered to be the publication’s most important edition of the year.

Markle does not grace the cover as she felt it would be a “boastful” thing for her to do, according to the magazine’s editor-in-chief Edward Enninful.

The duchess, who has been working on the project for the past seven months, said she hopes readers feel as inspired by the magazine as she does, with its cover featuring a mix of campaigning actors, models, a dancer, an author and a prime minister.