Another day, another Zoom missive from the Duke and Duchess of Woke. Hot on the heels of their thinly-veiled intervention in the US election, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have called for an ‘end to structural racism’ in the UK, via a new initiative they’ve launched in collaboration with the Evening Standard.
To mark the beginning of Black History Month in the UK, Harry and Meghan have unveiled a list of ‘BHM Next Gen Trailblazers’ – that is, black Brits who are making a difference in arts, politics and culture, chosen in turn by some of the Sussexes’ favourite black British artists, politicians and cultural figures.
Scratch beneath the surface, though, and this initiative seems as much about celebrating black British talent as it is about ‘educating’ the supposedly uneducated population, who the royal couple seem to think are insufficiently aware of the contributions made by Brits of African and Caribbean backgrounds.
The couple gave a Zoom interview to the Standard from their £11m mansion in California, all in the cringeworthy style to which we’ve become accustomed: Harry recites tired talking points in the manner of a man reading a hostage letter, while Meghan stares at him, smiling.
The list, Harry says, is an ‘opportunity to introduce Brits to other Brits that they might not know about’, adding that even in London ‘if you actually get out on the streets and talk to people… it doesn’t feel as diverse as it actually is’. Meghan goes on to defend Black Lives Matter against accusations it is ‘inflammatory’.
As ever with Harry and Meghan it is not just the right-on bromides about privilege and race that irk. Indeed, they are at the tamer end of the woke-celeb spectrum. It is also who is uttering them: a couple who are not only eye-wateringly rich, but also using a platform lent to them by a monarchy they have since ditched.