Harry and Meghan HECKLED as they arrive at UN headquarters for the Duke's keynote address
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were heckled as they arrived for the former's keynote speech at the UN in New York on Monday, July 18.
Prince Harry, 37, and Meghan Markle, 40, arrived at the United Nations headquarters hand-in-hand before the Duke gave a speech about Nelson Mandela's legacy. In his speech commemorating International Nelson Mandela Day, Harry warned of a "global assault on democracy and freedom." He also spoke of his mother, Princess Diana, and delved into the Ukraine war as well as abortion laws in the US. However, not everyone was welcoming of the Sussexes at the event.
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One protester was waiting outside the UN headquarters building to heckle the couple as they arrived. "Mandela spent 27 years behind bars in SA," read a placard held by the female protester. "Markle spent 18 months in castles and complained on TV during a pandemic. Why are they here?"
Meghan Markle changed her outfit THREE times during Nelson Mandela Day at the UN, during which Prince Harry made a speech. I think this placard from a protestor outside of the event says it better than anybody else could. This plastic pair have absolutely no self awareness. pic.twitter.com/0dd0c0NIjD— Darren Grimes (@darrengrimes_) July 19, 2022
The Sussexes were also slammed by some Republican leaders. As shared by GBNews, Michigan Rep Lisa McClain said, "Yet again, the Duke and Duchess are sticking their nose into American politics by attacking the US rule of law. I think it's time we buy them a history book on the Revolutionary War to remind them that our government stopped caring about the 'royals' opinion back in 1776."
Georgia Rep Buddy Carter added, "The US is protecting the lives of unborn children. Russia is killing innocent Ukrainians. We are not the same and comparing the two is sick and perverse. I would remind Prince Harry that spreading disinformation is incredibly damaging to the 'democracy and freedom' he is so concerned about."
On #MandelaDay people around the world took action to inspire change.— United Nations (@UN) July 18, 2022
We celebrated with #MandelaPrize laureates Marianna Vardinoyannis & Morissanda Kouyaté, @AminaJMohammed, @UN_PGA, Prince Harry & Meghan, The Duke & Duchess of Sussex, @NYCMayor & more. https://t.co/LOxHQoWqVf pic.twitter.com/wneUQEMPiq
Harry gave an impassioned speech about Mandela, a man "who had endured the very worst of humanity - vicious racism and state-sponsored brutality." The Duke also spoke of his mother Diana, the Princess of Wales, meeting with the decorated South African leader in March 1997, and how he himself "sought solace" in Africa after her demise. Nonetheless, many accused him of only speaking at the high-profile event "for Netflix" and "to get money."
The Sussexes are currently at the @UN #NelsonMandelaDay2022 commemoration in NYC, where Prince Harry will (in 20 minutes) deliver a keynote address. Duchess Meghan has joined him in a supportive role and the couple will later today join meetings with UN ambassadors. pic.twitter.com/wmDQHdXqid— Omid Scobie (@scobie) July 18, 2022
During an appearance on TalkTV, royal biographer Tom Bower told host Piers Morgan that Harry agreed to talk "because he needs a profile," adding that everything he and his wife do is "built around the future documentary series."
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This comes as Meghan is rumored to be pursuing her political aspirations as she continues to make waves as an activist. The Duchess recently joined feminist icon and journalist Gloria Steinem in her efforts to get the Equal Rights Amendment ratified. She also expressed her willingness to march in Washington, DC, to protest the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v Wade. Harry appeared to back his wife's newfound interest in politics, commenting on the dangers of climate change, the Covid pandemic, "weaponizing lies and disinformation", the Ukraine situation, as well as abortion rights.
Prince Harry honors Nelson Mandela, the late South African president and anti-apartheid leader, in a moving U.N. speech.#NelsonMandelaInternationalDayhttps://t.co/MzAjLGqlW9 pic.twitter.com/oN1952aaFc— Good Morning America (@GMA) July 18, 2022
"We're living through a pandemic that continues to ravage communities in every corner of the globe; climate change wreaking havoc on our planet, with the most vulnerable suffering most of all; the few, weaponizing lies and disinformation at the expense of the many; and from the horrific war in Ukraine to the rolling back of constitutional rights here in the United States," the Duke said. "We are witnessing a global assault on democracy and freedom - the cause of Mandela's life," he insisted.