The 36-year-old Duke of Sussex, now based in Los Angeles since stepping back from frontline royalty in Britain, opened up about taking his own privileged education for granted and also reflected on his year-old son Archie’s first steps during the video interview marking International Day of the Girl on Sunday and broadcast on YouTube. The royal couple spoke to Malala, who was shot by the Taliban as a schoolgirl and is now an Oxford University graduate, about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on young women in the wide-ranging discussion.
"We do take it for granted and it is a privilege but every single person, every single child, every single young person needs an education,” said Harry. “I'm hugely grateful for the education I was lucky enough to have, at the time I certainly probably wasn't as grateful, but looking back at it now, I'm very, very blessed with having such amazing options," he said.
On her schooling, Markle said she was “very grateful” for the ability to attend university, with “plentiful” books to “whet my appetite” both at home and school. “When young girls have access to education, everyone wins and everyone succeeds. It just opens the door for societal success at the highest level,” she said. In reference to their son, the couple said they felt specially privileged to be able to spend time with him and watch him grow.
“We were both there for his first steps, his first run, his first fall, his first everything else,” said Harry. “It’s just fantastic because I think [in] so many ways we are fortunate to have this time to watch him grow, and in the absence of Covid we would travel and be working more externally and would miss a lot of those moments. It’s been a lot of really good family time,” added Markle.
Over a therapy-related podcast this weekend, the 39-year-old former actress also reflected on the greater use of online media during the lockdown. “Yes, it’s a great way to connect, but it also ends up being a place where there’s a lot of disconnection I can speak personally to,” she said.
She added: “I’m told that in 2019 I was the most trolled person in the entire world, male or female. Now, eight months of that I wasn’t even visible, I was on maternity leave or with a baby. “But what was able to just be manufactured and churned out, it’s almost unsurvivable, that’s so big, you can’t think of what that feels like, because I don’t care if you’re 15 or 25, if people are saying things about you that aren’t true, what that does to your mental and emotional health is so damaging.”