Why Prince Harry and Meghan Markles human rights award has created uproar

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are set to receive a prestigious Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights award on Tuesday in honour of their “heroic” stand against racism within the royal family.

The foundation is named after former President Kennedy’s younger brother, who was assassinated in 1968 during his presidential campaign.

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Reflecting on Harry and Meghan’s award, President of Robert F.Kennedy Human Rights, Kerry Kennedy, said: “They went to the oldest institution in UK history and told them what they were doing wrong, that they couldn’t have structural racism within the institution; that they could not maintain a misunderstanding about mental health.”

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She continued: “They knew that if they did this there would be consequences, that they would be ostracized, they would lose their family, their position within this structure, and that people would blame them for it… They have done it anyway because they believed they couldn’t live with themselves if they didn’t question this authority.”

Kerry Kennedy has praised Meghan and Harry

The decision to award the prestigious accolade to the Sussexes has nonetheless been met with widespread criticism.

Calling into question Meghan and Harry’s philanthropic work, Professor David Nasaw, author of The Patriarch, told The Independent: “If you look at the people who have been awarded the Robert Kennedy prize in the past-Bill and Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Bishop Desmond Tutu-and then you have to ask what are Harry and Meghan doing here?

What in God’s name have they done to merit this? What percentage of Harry and Meghan’s wealth is going to worthy causes?”

The duo stepped down as working royals in 2020

Elsewhere, royal expert Angela Levin raised doubts over the couple’s claims of racism, arguing that such accusations have yet to be scrutinized.

Speaking to Sky News, she said: “This award for heroism is for absolutely nothing… it’s for their Oprah Winfrey interview which doesn’t have any proof. There were over 30 lies in that interview.”

Buckingham Palace has been the subject of several race rows

Meghan and Harry sat down for a televised interview with TV host Oprah back in March 2021, one year after they announced their decision to step down as working members of the royal family.

In the bombshell interview, former Suits actress, Meghan, claimed that comments had been made within the royal family about the skin colour of their then-unborn son, Archie. In a short statement, Buckingham Palace said: “The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning… While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately.”

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