'Absolutely devastating': Meghan Markle breaks silence on George Floyd's death

Meghan Markle has revealed she was nervous to speak out about the death of George Floyd and the resulting protests in the US, afraid that she would say the wrong thing. 

In an address to the graduating class of her former Los Angeles high school Immaculate Heart, the Duchess of Sussex called the situation in America "absolutely devastating" and knew she had to address it. 

"I wasn't sure what I could say to you. I wanted to say the right thing and I was really nervous that it would get picked apart," Meghan said. 

"And I realised the only wrong thing to say is to say nothing.

"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."

The former Suits actor recalled being 15-years-old and being given some advice by a teacher called Ms Pollia, who told her: 'always remember to put other's needs above your own fears’.

"That has stuck with me throughout my entire life and I have thought about it more in the last week than ever before," Meghan said. 

The Duchess also reflected on the LA Riots, "also triggered by senseless act of racism" - the police brutality against Rodney King - when she was about 11 years old in 1992. 

"I remember the curfew and I remember rushing back home and on that drive home, seeing ash fall from the sky and smelling the smoke and seeing the smoke billow out of buildings.

"I remember seeing men in the back of a van just holding guns and rifles.

"I remember pulling up at the house and seeing the tree, that had always been there, completely charred. And those memories don't go away." 

Meghan added that she "couldn't imagine" that the graduating students she was addressing would have to have a different version of that same type of experience today. 

"That should be something you have an understanding of as a history lesson, not as your reality," she said.

"So I am sorry that, in a way, we have not gotten the world to a place that you deserve it to be." 

Meghan continued that despite the high schooler's graduation "not being the one they envisioned", she called on them to use what they had learned in their education to be part of the anti-racism movement. 

"You are going to lead with love, you are going to lead with compassion, you are going to use your voice. 

"I know you know that black lives matter. So I am already excited for what you are going to do in the world.

"Please know that I am cheering you along all the way, and I am exceptionally proud of you."