NEW YORK CITY ― Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ruled the red carpet at the annual Ripple of Hope Gala on Tuesday night, just two days before the official Netflix premiere of their highly anticipated docuseries, “Harry & Meghan.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are the recipients of the 2022 Robert F. Kennedy Ripple of Hope award.
Kerry Kennedy, president of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, a nonprofit organization that is named after her late father and is honoring the couple, spoke about why the Sussexes are being awarded in a press release sent out prior to the event.
“The couple has always stood out for their willingness to speak up and change the narrative on racial justice and mental health around the world,” Kennedy said in an emailed statement. “They embody the type of moral courage that my father once called the ‘one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change.’”
The awards, which are being emceed by Alec Baldwin, will also honor the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, with the Ripple of Hope award. NBA player and civil rights activist Bill Russell, who died in 2022, will also be recognized with a posthumous award.
Last month, Kennedy shed more light on the couple’s honor in an exclusive interview with the Spanish website El Confidencial.
She told the magazine, via a translated version of the article, that Meghan and Harry “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,” referencing the couple’s claim of racism within the royal family and a lack of help when the Duchess of Sussex said she was experiencing suicidal ideation.
“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,” Kennedy continued.
She said that the two did it anyway “because they believed they couldn’t live with themselves if they didn’t question this authority,” and ended by calling the two “heroic.”
Harry and Meghan have dominated headlines even more than usual recently, as Netflix released the controversial official trailer for the couple’s six-part series on Monday. The streaming giant also made waves when the teaser for the show was released last week, on the second day of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s royal visit to Boston.
The first three episodes of the series will be released on Thursday at 3 a.m. ET, while the second batch will drop next Thursday, Dec. 15.