Meghan Markle has revealed she is “happy to be home” after a long absence from the US, saying she was ready to use her voice in a way she had “not been able to of late.”
The Duchess of Sussex, in her first sit-down interview since returning to her native California in March, also took a swipe at "toxic" media, which she said had lost the public's trust.
She told Emily Ramshaw, founder of The 19th* News, a Texas-based nonprofit news organisation which launched earlier this year, that after spending years in Canada filming TV series Suits and subsequent time in the UK she felt she had returned to a different America.
"To come back and to just see this state of affairs, I think at the onset, if I'm being honest, it was just devastating. It was so sad to see where our country was in that moment," the Duchess, 39, replied when asked by Ms Ramshaw in a virtual summit about her “experiences as a biracial woman and mother” coming home to a troubled nation.
“From my standpoint, it’s not new to see this undercurrent of racism and certainly unconscious bias, but I think to see the changes that are being made right now is really — it’s something I look forward to being a part of,” she said on Friday. “And being part of using my voice in a way that I haven’t been able to of late. So, yeah, it’s good to be home.”
Several months after the Duchess returned, the country erupted in anti-racism protests following the killing of George Floyd by a white Minnesota police officer.
After stepping down from their royal roles earlier this year, Meghan and Prince Harry moved to California with one-year-old son, Archie.
It was reported this week that the couple has bought a $15million (£11m) home in Montecito, Santa Barbara County, suggesting they were settling down in the US.
The Duchess, who recently revealed that she plans to vote in the upcoming US presidential election, also spoke about the importance of voting.
"We need to be really aware and not take (our vote) for granted. My husband for example — he's never been able to vote," she said, in what was seen as a slight to the Royal family. "The right to vote is not a privilege it’s a right in itself."
The Duchess, speaking with uncharacteristic candour, went on to criticise a lack of “non-partisan” journalism, saying she and the Duke routinely point to an “economy of attention” in the media that rewards the salacious over the truthful.
“What’s so fascinating, at least from my standpoint and my personal experience the past couple of years, is that the headline alone, the clickbait alone, makes an imprint,” she said. "There is so much toxicity out there."
The Duchess is currently involved in a lawsuit against Associated Newspapers in the UK, which published the contents of a letter she sent to her father. She has previously criticised her treatment by the British tabloids.
She went on: “You wanna have trust in journalism, have trust in what you’re reading. We have become so sadly comfortable that we’re getting all this stuff and it becomes noise as opposed to truth and accurate journalism.”