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Opinion: Montecito Resident, Prince Harry, Was The Wrong Keynote Speaker During Nelson Mandela Day at The U.N.

Amancay Tapia

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Prince Harry was asked to be a keynote speaker during Nelson Mandela International day by the Nelson Mandela Foundation at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City.

The British Prince said , "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, weaponising lies and disinformation at the expense of the many; and 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."

I do not doubt that the Duke of Sussex intentions were pure and that like the majority of us, he has a will to do good for our communities.

However, the ex-party Prince, who has led an extremely privileged life since birth just because he was born in the British Royal family, is not the right keynote speaker to address the U.N on such an remarkable day about a man, Nelson Mandela, with whom he has little in common. He left the U.K a few years ago and is now a resident of Montecito, where he lives with his family in a $14 million mansion. He regularly travels the world in private jets, and has never experienced the hardships of working life just to get by and to put food on your table.

Despite his intentions being good towards those suffering, real heartfelt allyship would be him stepping aside and offering the platform to more deserving marginal voices. Instead, he attracted the whole media attention, and for the wrong reasons. In the U.K., the press focus was not on Nelson Mandela day but on Prince Harry and his preachy discourse. Piers Morgan wrote:"Harry is dumb as a rock, breathtakingly arrogant, woefully hypocritical, deserted his family and country, is a permanently miserable whiny mood-hoover, doesn’t inspire me to open a crisp packet, and wouldn’t understand a principle if it slapped him round his haughty woke-ravaged chops.It takes a special kind of brazen brass neck to stand up at the United Nations in New York, as he did today, and lecture the world about climate change when you constantly use luxury gas-guzzling private jets like a taxi service."

The U.K press was also pointing out Harry's hypocrisy regarding climate change mentioning he has repeatedly used private jets to travel on holiday. Do as I say not as I do kind of attitude. Other members of the press focused on what Meghan Markle , his wife, was wearing for the occasion ( She donned a $1,590​ Givenchy patch pocket skirt, reported the Daily Mail)

At the height of his fame, Nelson Mandela was a great friend of Cuba Fidel Castro, it is well documented that they had a special connection. In 1991, a few months after he was released from Robben Island prison, Mandela met with the Cuban revolutionary for the first time and called him “my brother.” He told Castro, "our friend Cuba, which has helped us in training our people, gave us resources that kept up our struggle, trained our people as doctors and so. You have not come to our country. When are you coming?”

Mandela never tried to hide his admiration for Castro despite the criticism.“I do this because our moral authority tells us that we cannot ignore those who have helped us during the most darkest moments in our country’s history. They gave us resources as well as taught us how to fight and win. And those who have berated me for being loyal to our friends, can, literally, go and throw themselves into a pool."

Needless to say, in his darkest hours Mandela was not friendly or felt connected to the Royal family. Thinking otherwise, is pushing it a bit. Mandela spent 27 years incarcerated in a tiny cell but after he was freed in 1990, he negotiated the end of apartheid, brought peace to a racially divided country and made history becoming South African first Black President.

Prince Harry has left the British Royal Family voluntarily, but still uses the Royal title for the benefits this affords him. He is given massive platforms due to his connections and wealthy origins, not because of his hard work both professionally and academically but because of nepotism.

Prince Harry should have given the opportunity to someone who doesn't have the connections but the talent, focus, and leadership to be the next Mandela.

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