Prince Harry takes on the 'rolling back of constitutional rights' in US

Prince Harry takes on the ‘rolling back of constitutional rights’ in US


In his latest round of public advocacy, Prince Harry delivered a short speech to the UN General Assembly’s annual celebration of Nelson Mandela International Day in New York.

The 37-year old was the keynote speaker at the event, addressing a sparse crowd as he spoke about Mandela’s legacy and bravery, and how it has influenced his own humanitarian work. 

He described the former South African president and anti-apartheid activist as “a person who, even when confronting unimaginable cruelty and injustice, almost always had a smile on his face.”

The Duke of Sussex went on to explain how reading Mandela’s writing has helped him during this “time of global uncertainty and division,” and “a painful decade.”

“I found a few lines that stopped me in my tracks,” he expressed. “In a letter from prison, he wrote, “I feel my heart pumping hope steadily to every part of my body, warming my blood and pepping up my spirits.”

“I am convinced that floods of personal disaster can never drown a determined revolutionary. To a freedom fighter, hope is what a life belt is to a swimmer, a guarantee that one will keep afloat and free from danger.”

He shared his dismay over global issues, calling them an “assault on democracy and freedom” including climate change, which he described as “wreaking havoc on our planet, with the most vulnerable suffering most of all”, “the few weaponising lies and disinformation at the expense of the many”, the “horrific war in Ukraine” and “the rolling back of constitutional rights here in the United States.”

He concluded his speech by imploring the audience to make a choice.

“We can grow apathetic, succumb to anger, or yield to despair, surrendering to the gravity of what we’re up against, or we can do what Mandela did every single day inside that seven by nine foot prison cell on Robben Island, and every day outside of it too.”

Since renouncing their senior membership of the royal family in January 2020, the prince and his wife, Meghan Markle, have launched a charity, Archewell, made public appearances relating to their philanthropic work and announced an (albeit shaky) deal with Netflix on a show they will both star. 

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