Prince Harry blasted freedoms in his new home, the US, Monday in an address to the United Nations in New York City — as he warned of a “global assault on democracy and freedom.”
The runaway UK royal was delivering a keynote speech to the UN General Assembly in honor of the late South African leader Nelson Mandela when he pointed to the US as a cautionary tale.
“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,” he said.
“This has been a painful year in a painful decade,” the Duke of Sussex continued.
“We’re living through a pandemic that continues to ravage communities in every corner of the globe; climate change wreaking havoc on our planet, with the most vulnerable suffering most of all; the few, weaponizing lies and disinformation at the expense of the many.”
The Duke, 37, also demanded world leaders seriously address climate change, saying, “the water is rising all around us — in some places quite literally.”
“The right thing to do is not up for debate, and neither is the science,” he quipped. “The only question is whether we will be brave enough and wise enough to do what is necessary.”
Prince Harry made the comments at the UN’s annual Mandela day, attending the event alongside his wife, the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, 40.
The couple have been vocal advocates of Mandela’s legacy, celebrating the anti-apartheid freedom fighter who rose to become South Africa’s first black president after serving 27 years in an apartheid-state prison.
Harry called on world leaders to use Mandela’s legacy as inspiration at “a time of global uncertainty and division.”
Quoting a letter penned by Mandela in prison, the Duke said: “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.”
“How many of us are in danger of losing those life belts right now?” he then asked the gathered leaders.
The royal also revealed he keeps a photo of his late mother, Princess Diana, and Mandela together.
“On my wall, and in my heart every day, is an image of my mother and Mandela meeting in Cape Town in 1997,” Harry said.
He remarked on the late leader’s smile in the photograph.
“Here was a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders, asked to heal his country from the wreckage of its past and transform it for the future, a man who had endured the very worst of humanity, vicious racism and state-sponsored brutality,” Harry said.
“Yet, in that photo and so many others, he is still beaming. Still able to see the goodness in humanity. Still buoyant with a beautiful spirit that lifted everyone around him,” he added.
The jaunt to New York was the first high-profile trip for the California-based couple, who resigned from their royal duties in 2020, since a quick trip to London earlier this year to honor Queen Elizabeth II’s 70 years on the throne.
The pair live in Montecito, where they purchased nine-bedroom, 16-bathroom modern mansion for $14.65 million.
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