In a personal video message released yesterday, The Duchess of Sussex has paid tribute to George Floyd, who died after a Police Officer held him down with his knee, saying that “his life mattered.” The video message was an address to students graduating from Meghan’s former school in Los Angeles, Immaculate Heart High School.
Speaking to the all-girls school, The Duchess of Sussex said, “I wasn’t sure what I could say to you. I wanted to say the right thing and I was really nervous that I wouldn’t or it would get picked apart, and I realised the only wrong thing to say is nothing – because George Floyd’s life mattered and Breonna Taylor’s life mattered and Philando Castile’s life mattered and Tamir Rice’s life mattered.”
During the message to the school, The Duchess of Sussex also recalled living through the 1992 race riots and told of her regret that nothing seems to have change adding, “I was 11 or 12 years old and it was the LA riots, which was also triggered by a senseless act of racism. I remember the curfew and I remember rushing back home, and on that drive home, seeing ash fall from the sky, and smelling the smoke and seeing the smoke billow out of buildings. I remember seeing men in the back of a van just holding guns and rifles. I remember pulling up the house and seeing the tree, that had always been there, completely charred. And those memories don’t go away.”
A series of anti-racism protests have been triggered following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on 25th May. Four Officers have been charged in relation to his death. Though the vast majority of protests have been peaceful, a number have turned violent resulting in curfew being imposed in cities across the USA. Protests have also taken place in cities across the world including London.
The Duchess of Sussex concluded, “We are going to rebuild and rebuild and rebuild until it is rebuilt, because when the foundation is broken, so are we.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are currently living in Los Angeles with their son, Archie, having recently stepped back as working members of The Royal Family.