The Sussex Team

The Sussexes take New York by storm for Nelson Mandela Day!

The Sussexes are back in New York! This time to attend the U.N. General Assembly to celebrate Nelson Mandela Day!

Credit: Alamy Stock Photos

The couple arrived at the United Nations headquarters in Manhattan with style!

The day was established by the UN’s General Assembly in 2009 to honor Nelson Mandela’s life and legacy.

Credit: Alamy Stock Photos

The session began at 3 pm BST (10 am EST) and featured remarks made by Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed and the President of the General Assembly, Abdulla Shahid.

Credit: UN Twitter

During the event, the 2020 UN Nelson Mandela Prize was awarded to Mrs. Marianna V. Vardinoyannis of Greece and Dr. Morissanda Kouyaté of Guinea. This prize is handed out every five years and recognizes people who have dedicated their lives to the service of humanity. 

As we all know, Meghan and Harry have made human rights activism a priority since they worked as senior royals, and they continue to do so after stepping down. This Women’s History Month, they offered grants to four leading organizations working to advance gender equity through their nonprofit, Archewell.

Credit: Alamy Stock Photos

Meghan did charitable work of her own before meeting Harry. You’ll recall that she became a United Nations Women’s Advocate for Women’s Political Participation and Leadership back in 2015. Her mom Doria Ragland was on hand as she gave an inspiring speech on gender equality.

“U.N. Women, as you guys know, has defined the year 2030 as the expiration date for gender inequality,” she said. “And here’s what’s staggering — the studies show that at the current rate, the elimination of gender inequality won’t be possible until 2095. That’s another eighty years from now. And when it comes to women’s political participation and leadership the percentage of female parliamentarians globally has only increased by 11% since 1995. Eleven percent in 20 years? Come on. This has to change. Women make up more than half of the world’s population and potential, so it is neither just nor practical for their voices, for our voices, to go unheard at the highest levels of decision-making.”

Meghan Markle speech UN 2015
Credit: UN Twitter

Meghan also traveled around India with World Vision to meet girls and women being impacted by the stigmatization of menstrual health – a topic she later wrote an essay on for TIME magazine in 2017.

Meghan Markole India
Credit: World vision

Just a year later, now with Harry, she gave a speech about women’s right to education while on a royal tour in Fiji.

Meghan Markle Fiji 2018
Credit: Alamy Stock Photos

The year after, Meghan wrote empowering messages on bananas to women trying to free themselves of sex work or addiction and spoke on a panel for International Women’s Day at King’s College in London.

Meghan Markle Women’s Day at King’s College in London.
Credit: Alamy Stock Photos

Most recently, in April 2021, Meghan hosted a roundtable discussion with members of Girls Inc. and the National Women’s Law Center that gave young girls a platform to speak about the “breadth of challenges their generation is facing at this moment,” per a statement on Archewell’s website.

Meghan and Harry taking their seats:

The Sussexes New York UN Nelson Mandela
Credit: Alamy Stock Photos

A sweet moment:

The Sussexes new york Nelson Mandela UN
Credit: Alamy Stock Photos

We also saw Harry for a speech where he reflected on Nelson Mandela’s life, revealing a treasured picture he still hangs on his wall of Mandela with his late mother.

Princess Diana Nelson Mandela
Credit: Alamy Stock Photos

In a series of remarks, Harry criticized world leaders for the many crises currently being faced. Condemning inaction on climate change, he stated: “As we sit here today, our world is on fire”.

Harry added: “This has been a painful year in a painful decade. We’re living through a pandemic that continues to ravage communities in every corner of the globe. Climate change is wreaking havoc on our planet, with the most vulnerable suffering most of all.”

Prince Harry Speech UN Nelson Mandela new York
Credit: Canada Mission Twitter

Referencing Putin’s horrific invasion of Ukraine and the US Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn Roe v Wade, Harry said:

The few weaponizing lies and disinformation and lies at the expense of the many. From the horrific war in Ukraine to the rolling back of constitutional rights here in the United States, we are witnessing a global assault on democracy and freedom – the cause of Mandela’s life. As happens so often in history, the consequences of some of the most powerful people in some of the wealthiest countries are being felt even more deeply across the continent of Africa. The pandemic, the war and inflation have left Africa marred in a food and fuel crisis, the likes of which we have not seen in decades. Worst still, this comes at a time when the Horn of Africa is enduring one of the longest droughts it’s faced in close to half a century. What is happening in Africa is not an isolated event. The drought there is a reflection of extreme weather we are seeing across the globe. As we sit here today, our world is on fire, again. These historic weather events are no longer historic. More and more, they are part of our daily lives – and this crisis will only grow worse unless our leaders lead. Unless the countries represented by the seats in this hallowed hall make the decisions – the daring, transformative decisions – that our world needs to save humanity.

Harry also spoke about his love for Africa, a continent he first visited when he was 13 years old and where he went to seek refuge after the death of his mother.

It was then that Harry sweetly called Meghan, who he whisked to Botswana on their third date, his “soulmate”.

“Since I first visited Africa at 13 years old, I’ve always found hope on the continent. In fact, for most of my life, it has been my lifeline, a place where I have found peace and healing time and time again,” he said. “It’s where I’ve felt closest to my mother and sought solace after she died, and where I knew I had found a soulmate in my wife. And it’s why so much of my work is based there.”

Omid Scobie revealed earlier that the Sussexes will be joining meetings with UN ambassadors. Arriving Meghan and Harry were greeted by Amb. Joyini.

The Sussexes New York 2022

Meghan was in all black for today’s event! Her skirt is the Givenchy patch Pocket skirt she wore in green during her in Ireland back in 2018!

Meghan Markle Givenchy

The skirt features modern external pockets. Angled pocket flaps and large buttons add an element of interest. 

Meghan carried her Mulberry ‘Bayswater’ tote in oxblood

Meghan Markle Mulberry 'Bayswater' tote in oxblood

Outfit update coming soon!

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