Los Angeles, United States:
Meghan Markle took a moving toll on George Floyd, the unarmed black man whose death in police custody sparked nationwide protests, as she thought about her own memories of racism as she grew up in Los Angeles.
Prince Harry's wife admitted that she had been nervous about breaking her silence about the demonstrations in the United States, but said in a video message that she "realized that the only wrong thing was to say nothing."
"George Floyd's life was important," said Markle, whose mother is black before listing the names of other police Americans killed and expressing his support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Floyd's death on May 25 in Minneapolis – a policeman kneeling on the neck for more than eight minutes – has sparked the worst unrest in America since the murder of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968.
Los Angeles, where Markle now lives with the prince and her son Archie after leaving the British royal family, was a focus of the marches. On Wednesday alone, 10,000 demonstrators flooded the streets of the city center.
In the video, Markle described the scenes in Los Angeles as "devastating".
The 38-year-old also remembered fatal riots that broke out in the city in 1992 after four white police officers were acquitted of brutality after "a senseless act of racism" – the beating of black motorist Rodney King. The riots spread across the country, killing 59 people.
"I remember the curfew and I remember hurrying home and on this drive home, seeing ashes fall from the sky, smelling the smoke, and seeing the smoke rise from buildings," said Markle.
Although not mentioned in her video, the specter of racism also followed Markle when she moved to the UK, where she had a close relationship with the national press – some of which the couple's supporters have accused of prejudicial reporting.
A headline in the 2016 Daily Mail – before the couple got married – wrote: "Harry's girl is (almost) straight from Compton: her mother's gang-streaked house was revealed – so will he drop by for tea?"
A BBC radio host was fired last May for posting a tweet showing a picture of the couple holding hands with a chimpanzee in clothing after the birth of their son Archie. The headline read: "Royal Baby is leaving the hospital."
– "needs of others" –
In her message she played late Wednesday at a "virtual graduation" for the high school she attended in Los Angeles, Markle also mentioned black victims like Breonna Taylor, a health worker who was shot dead in her Kentucky apartment in March .
The short life of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy who was shot in Ohio while playing with a toy gun in 2014, was also "important," said Markle, "and so many other people whose names we know and whose names we know . " I do not know."
Markle remembered a teacher at Immaculate Heart High School who left a lasting impression on her and told her to "always remember to put others' needs above your own fears".
"I've been thinking about it more than last week," she said.
Markle and Harry spoke of their desire to "do something meaningful, do something important" in California, where they plan to start a large nonprofit called Archewell.
In April, they distributed meals to the chronically ill in Los Angeles while the coronavirus was blocked.
The couple announced that they would retire from their British royal roles in January and officially step down in April.
They first moved to Canada before settling in California.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)