The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are set to receive the Robert F. Kennedy Ripple of Hope Award next month, and Kerry Kennedy has explained why the human rights nonprofit chose the couple for the prestigious prize.
In an interview with Spanish online news site El Confidencial’s Vanitatis magazine, Kerry said that Prince Harry, 38, and Meghan, 41, exemplified the “moral courage” against injustice that her father famously called for in his iconic Ripple of Hope speech at the University of Cape Town in South Africa over 50 years ago when apartheid reigned.
“When my father went to South Africa in 1966, he spoke in front of a white audience and said that the problem in this generation is talking about racial justice.
“He also spoke of moral courage, saying that few would have the courage to question their colleagues, family and their community about the power structure they maintained,” Kerry told the Spanish magazine, per a translation. “And this is what Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have done.”
“They went to the oldest institution in U.K. 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,” she continued, referring to the British monarchy.
“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. I think they have been heroic in taking this step.”
In October, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights announced that Harry and Meghan were this year’s Ripple of Hope laureates for their work in racial justice, mental health and other social impact action through their Archewell Foundation.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is also receiving the Ripple of Hope Award for his courageous leadership amid the Russian invasion. Previous Ripple of Hope prizewinners include Dr. Anthony Fauci, Colin Kaepernick, Nancy Pelosi, former President Barack Obama and President Joe Biden.
Harry and Meghan are expected to attend the annual Ripple of Hope Award Gala in New York City on Dec. 6. The event is being emceed by Alec Baldwin.