With a personal speech at the United Nations, Prince Harry honored the South African President and freedom fighter Nelson Mandela, who died in 2013.
In front of the UN General Assembly on Monday in New York, Harry spoke of a painful decade that humanity is currently in – and listed the pandemic, climate change, the Ukraine war and the restriction of abortion rights in the USA. “We are witnessing a global attack on democracy and freedom, the cause of Mandela’s life,” said the 37-year-old.
The world is at a “defining moment”: “We can become apathetic, succumb to anger or give in to despair and surrender to the gravity of what we are dealing with. Or we can do what Mandela did every day” which is find purpose and meaning in the fight against these attacks.
“We can wear our principles as armor.” Harry recalled that Mandela taught his son never to give up, even in the “darkest hour.”
The Duke of Sussex also got personal and described the continent of Africa as his lifeline: “A place where I found peace and healing.” Regarding Mandela, he had a photo of his mother, Princess Diana, with her in mind . “The playfulness, the mischievousness and the sheer joy of being in the company of another soul so dedicated to the service of humanity,” Harry said.
The 37-year-old had previously arrived at the United Nations headquarters in Manhattan with his wife Meghan (40) – hand in hand, Harry in a dark blue suit with a matching tie and white shirt, Meghan in a dark, simple dress. Meghan then listened to her husband’s speech in the assembly hall. In his speech, Harry referred to his wife as “soul mates”.
The couple had been invited by the Nelson Mandela Foundation. The annual Nelson Mandela International Day event honors the memory of the freedom fighter. After decades in captivity during racist apartheid, Mandela became South Africa’s first black president in 1994. His commitment to peaceful resistance made “Madiba” one of the world’s outstanding fighters against oppression and social injustice
Harry and Meghan had broken away from the closer circle of the royal family in 2020 and had moved to the other side of the Atlantic. They live in the US state of California with their two young children and rarely appear in public.