The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have made their stance on politics clear, as they attended a Nelson Mandela International Day event at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Monday, where Harry addressed the General Assembly about the climate crisis, war in Ukraine, and Roe v Wade.
“Having spent time with many of Mandela’s family members over the years, I speak to you today with humility, mindful of how much the man they loved means to so many,” Harry began his speech, going on to speak about the relationship between Mandela and his mother, the late Princess Diana.
“On my wall, and in my heart every day, is an image of my mother and Mandela meeting in Cape Town in 1997… When I first looked at the photo, straight away what jumped out was the joy on my mother’s face. The playfulness, cheekiness, even. The pure delight to be in communion with another soul so committed to serving humanity.”
The Duke went on to warn about the impact of climate change in Mandela’s homeland of Africa, referencing his wife, Meghan, as his “soulmate”.
“Since I first visited Africa at 13 years old, I’ve always found hope on the continent. In fact, for most of my life, it has been my lifeline, a place where I have found peace and healing time and time again. It’s where I’ve felt closest to my mother and sought solace after she died, and where I knew I had found a soulmate in my wife.”
At one point, Harry dodged a question by a reporter about the Queen and Meghan’s supposedly tense relationship, written about in a new bombshell book by royal reporter Tom Bower.
Throughout his speech, Harry shared his views on the climate crisis, urging leaders to make “daring, transformative decision” to save humanity.
“These decisions may not fit the agendas of every political party. They may invite resistance from powerful interests. But the right thing to do is not up for debate. And neither is the science. The only question is whether we will be brave enough and wise enough to do what is necessary.”
He went on to address the “rolling back of constitutional rights here in the United States”, referencing the overturning of Roe v Wade, which gave women the constitutional right to an abortion. “We are witnessing a global assault on democracy and freedom,” he said.
His wife, Meghan, has also spoken publicly about abortion rights, joining feminist activist Gloria Steinem to campaign for the Equal Rights Amendment to be ratified.