Meghan MarkleMeghan MarkleDoes Kamala Harris's music matter? Prince Harry and Meghan sign Netflix production deal 'The West Wing' cast to reunite for Michelle Obama's voter registration initiative MORE, the Duchess of Sussex, on Wednesday expressed her support for the Black Lives Matter movement and called the current protests rocking the U.S. after the death of George Floyd “devastating.”

The American-born duchess recorded a video for graduates of her former California high school and said she was “so sorry” that they are growing up in a world where racism still exists.

“For the past couple of weeks I’ve been planning on saying a few words to you for your graduation, and as we’ve all seen over the last week what is happening in our country, and in our state and in our hometown of LA is absolutely devastating,” Markle said.

ADVERTISEMENT

The former actress, who married Queen Elizabeth II’s grandson Prince Harry in 2018, is the daughter of an African American mother and a white father.

Markle told the female students at Immaculate Heart High School that she wanted to say “the right thing” and was nervous her words would be “picked apart.”

“The only wrong thing to say is to say 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 and so did so many other people whose names we know, and whose names we do not know,” she said in the video. 

She reflected on being 11 years old in 1992 when her hometown of Los Angeles descended into similar riots after Rodney King was beaten by police officers during his arrest, saying “those memories don’t go away.”

She went on to press the graduating class to "use your voice" and vote.

“You are going to lead with love, you are going to lead with compassion,” she said. “You are going to use your voice. You are going to use your voice in a stronger way than you have ever been able to because you are 18 or you’re going to turn 18, so you’re going to vote. You are equipped, you are ready. We need you and you are prepared.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The British royal family does not traditionally comment on political issues. However, Markle and her husband earlier this year stepped back from their roles as full-time members, partly due to the intense scrutiny they faced from the British tabloid press. They have since moved to Los Angeles with their son, Archie.

Los Angeles and many other major U.S. cities have seen massive protests following the death of Floyd, who was killed last week while in police custody in Minneapolis.

One former officer, Derek Chauvin, was seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes before he died. 

Chauvin is now facing a second-degree murder charge, and the other officers who were at the scene of Floyd's death on Wednesday were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.