Collecting their honour at the NAACP Awards on Saturday, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex spoke about a number of global issues and social injustices. In his speech on stage, Prince Harry also discussed his and Meghan Markle’s ‘very different’ backgrounds
Prince Harry acknowledged the people of Ukraine on Saturday night, as he and Megan Markle collected a prestigious award.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were special guests at the NAACP Awards, where the couple were honoured with the prestigious President’s Awards to mark their special achievement for ‘distinguished public service’.
Past recipients of the honor include Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, LeBron James, Rihanna, Muhammad Ali and Jesse Jackson.
“It’s inspiring to think about the legacy of the Image Awards, which began shortly after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were passed into law,” Meghan began the couple’s speech with on Saturday night.
Wearing a stunning one-shoulder light blue dress, the mum-of-two continued: “Today, we can continue that legacy by re-establishing federal voting protections in our country and fulfilling the work of civil rights giants, like the late John Lewis.
“We are so deeply humbled to be here in the company of so many illustrious awardees.”
Continuing the couple’s joint acceptance speech, Prince Harry took the time to offer their solidarity to the people of Ukraine once again.
“Before I begin, we would like to acknowledge the people of Ukraine, who urgently need our continued support as a global community,” the dad-of-two stated as he held their award on stage.
The former royal then went on to discuss the different upbringings he and wife Meghan both enjoyed.
“I also echo the immense gratitude for tonight, both for this award and this community for welcoming me so warmly,” Prince Harry continued.
“I think it’s safe to say that I come from a very different background from my incredible wife, yet our lives were brought together for a reason.”
He added: “We share a commitment to a life of service, a responsibility to combat injustice and a belief that the most often overlooked are the most important to listen to.”
Continuing their speech, Meghan said: “And I couldn’t be prouder that we’re doing this work together. We moved to California, my home state, shortly before the murder of George Floyd.
“For Black America, those nine minutes and 29 seconds transcended time, invoking centuries of our unhealed wounds. In the months that followed, as my husband and I spoke with the civil rights community, we committed ourselves and our organization, Archewell, to illuminating those who are advancing racial justice and progress.”
Speaking prior to the couple receiving their award on Saturday night, Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP, praised the pair for leading by example.
“We’re thrilled to present this award to Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who together have heeded the call to social justice and have joined the struggle for equity both in the US and around the world,” when their honour was confirmed.
“Not only do they continue to lead by example, The Duke and Duchess have also decided to inspire the next generation of activists through the NAACP-Archewell Digital Civil Rights Award, ensuring the support and recognition of generations of civil rights leaders to come.”
The NAACP-Archewell Digital Civil Rights Award, supported by Archewell Foundation and administered by the NAACP, is a newly created annual award that acknowledges and honours leaders creating monumental change—at the intersection of social justice and technology—to advance civil and human rights.