Prince Harry says there's a 'huge level of unconscious bias' in the royal family, and sometimes they're 'part of the problem'

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in their Netflix docuseries "Harry & Meghan."
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in their Netflix docuseries "Harry & Meghan."Netflix
  • The first three episodes of the "Harry & Meghan" docuseries are now available on Netflix.

  • Episode three addressed several controversial incidents related to racism and the monarchy.

  • Prince Harry said there's a "huge level of unconscious bias" in the royal family.

Prince Harry addressed racism and unconscious bias within the monarchy in episode three of his and Meghan Markle's new Netflix docuseries, "Harry & Meghan."

"In this family, you're part of the problem rather than part of the solution. And there is a huge level of unconscious bias," he said. "The thing with unconscious bias is it's actually no one's fault. But once it's been pointed out or identified within yourself, you then need to make it right. It's education, it's awareness. And it's a constant work in progress for everybody, including me."

The royals have been accused of turning a blind eye — and in some instances, even enabling — racism since the early years of the monarchy, Insider's Mikhaila Friel, Rachel Hosie, and Taiyler Simone Mitchell previously reported. These are accusations that Buckingham Palace has denied.

Still, the docuseries highlighted several controversial incidents related to racism and the royal family. The docuseries references the time when Princess Michael of Kent wore a Blackamoor brooch — a style of art that often depicts people with dark skin in subservient positions — to the Queen's Christmas lunch in 2018 where Markle was also in attendance.

Prince and Princess Michael of Kent arrive at the Queen's Christmas lunch in 2018.
Prince and Princess Michael of Kent in 2018.Aaron Chown/PA Images via Getty Images

Blackamoor art dates back to Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. It's considered controversial because the motif features exoticized portrayals of enslaved Africans and servants, Awam Amkpa, associate professor of Drama and Africana Studies at NYU, previously told Insider.

Princess Michael subsequently apologized through a spokesperson.

"The brooch was a gift and had been worn many times before. Princess Michael is very sorry and distressed that it has caused offense," her representative said in a statement in 2018.

Afua Hirsch, a journalist and author of "Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging," appeared in the docuseries to provide more historical context regarding racism and the British empire.

"When I heard about Meghan at an event where a member of her soon-to-be family was wearing a Blackamoor brooch, I wasn't hugely surprised because one of the realities of life in Britain is that if you go into a palace or a stately home or anywhere that represents tradition, you are likely to be faced with racist imagery," she said. "There are murals on the wall, carvings on the ceiling, that depict enslaved people in a way that glorifies the institution of slavery."

Harry also said in the docuseries that wearing a Nazi uniform to a costume party in 2005 was one of the biggest mistakes of his life and that he learned from it.

A man reads The Sun newspaper in London 13 January, 2005, with a headline about Prince Harry wearing a Nazi uniform at a costume party.
A man reads The Sun newspaper in London 13 January, 2005, with a headline about Prince Harry wearing a Nazi uniform at a costume party.Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

British newspaper The Sun published a photo of Harry in the uniform on its front page on January 13, 2005, with the headline, "Harry the Nazi."

A spokesperson for the prince issued a public apology through Clarence House that same day, which read, "Prince Harry has apologized for any offense or embarrassment he has caused. He realizes it was a poor choice of costume," according to a BBC News report at the time.

"I felt so ashamed afterwards," Harry said in the docuseries. "All I wanted to do was make it right."

Harry said that he had conversations with the Chief Rabbi of London and a Holocaust survivor in Berlin, which had a "profound impact" on him.

"I could have just ignored it and gone on and made the same mistakes in my life, but I learned from that," Harry said.

More recently, there has been some indication of progress to address these issues within the monarchy.

In November, the royal family addressed claims of racism within the institution after charity founder Ngozi Fulani accused an unnamed palace aide of making racist remarks. Shortly after, Lady Susan Hussey resigned, and Prince William's spokesperson told reporters that "racism has no place in our society."

Princess Michael's representatives and Buckingham Palace did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Volume I of "Harry & Meghan" is available on Netflix, and Volume II will air on December 15.

Read the original article on Insider