Meghan Markle Recalls Rodney King Riots in Address

Duchess speaks to graduates of her old high school in Los Angeles
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 4, 2020 1:17 PM CDT
Meghan Markle Recalls Being a Kid During Rodney King Riots
In this 2019 file photo, Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan leave Westminster Abbey in London.   (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, file)

She may be the Duchess of Sussex, but Meghan Markle grew up in Los Angeles, and she remembers being a kid during the Rodney King riots. She spoke about that in an emotional commencement address via video to graduates of her old high school in L.A., reports People. The context was what she called the "absolutely devastating" death of George Floyd. Both the King and the Floyd cases were "triggered by senseless acts of racism," and she told the graduates she is "so sorry that you have to grow up in a world where this is still present." Markle was nearly 11 when the King riots broke out 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, and seeing people run out of buildings carrying bags and looting," she said. "Those memories don't go away." Markle, whose mother is African-American and father is white, expressed support for the Black Lives Matter movement and encouraged the grads of Immaculate Heart High School to "use your voice" and vote. The royal family typically steers clear of politics, notes the Hill, though Markle and Prince Harry have ditched their traditional roles in the family. (More Meghan Markle stories.)

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