Meghan and Harry said “a glimmer of hope can turn into a wave of change” after receiving an award for their activism in New York.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex received the Ripple of Hope Award at a Robert F Kennedy Human Rights (RFKHR) organization gala last night.
The award honors leaders in government, business, advocacy and entertainment, and the couple was recognized for their work on racial justice and mental health.
Past winners include Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
The pair said in a pre-recorded statement: ‘Our hope with this award is to inspire a new generation of leadership in the arts, where diverse emerging talent has a platform to make their voices heard and tell their stories.
“The values of RFK Foundation and The Archewell Foundation are aligned with our shared belief of courage over fear and love over hate.
“Together we know that a glimmer of hope can turn into a wave of change.”
At the ceremony, the couple announced a new partnership between their foundation The Archewell Foundation and the RFKHR – the Archewell Foundation Award for Gender Equity in Student Film.
It comes just hours before the launch of the couple’s tell-all Netflix show, which begins streaming on Thursday.
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The royal family is bracing for explosive revelations, with Harry speaking of a “hierarchy in the family,” a “dirty game” and a warning “we know the full truth” in a trailer for the show.
Elsewhere in the night, the duke joked that he thought he was taking his wife on a “date night.”
Harry said on stage with RFKHR President Kerry Kennedy, “I’ll be honest with you, Kerry. I just thought we would just have a date night, so I thought it was kind of weird that we share the room with 1500 people.
“We don’t go out much these days because our kids are so small and young, so this is totally unexpected.”
To loud laughter from the audience, he added, “But it’s nice to share a date night with all of you, so thanks for coming.”
Meghan added, “Thank you for taking me on this very special date night.”
“You’re welcome,” Harry said.
While sitting on stage next to Meghan, Harry discussed the importance of storytelling and said, “Ultimately, we now live in this world where sharing experiences and sharing stories has a huge impact,” adding that it was important to to undertake “if you are in a position of influence, leadership, or otherwise.”
The couple was recognized alongside other accolades, including Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
According to the RFKHR, awards are those who have demonstrated “an unwavering commitment to social change and have worked to protect and promote justice, justice and human rights.”
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Mrs. Kennedy, the daughter of Robert F. Kennedy, said the Sussexes had been “incredibly brave” in tackling the issues of racial justice and mental illness.
“They stood up, they talked about racial justice and they talked about mental illness in a way that was incredibly brave,” she told US outlet Extra on the event’s blue carpet.
“There has been a huge spike in this world in the aftermath of Covid… people all over the world have said they have anxiety and massive depression.
“For Meghan to come on national television and normalize the discussion about mental health is incredibly important and very brave at this time.”
Members of the public gathered in the rain to snap photos and videos of the couple as they arrived at New York’s Hilton Midtown hotel on Tuesday.
Meghan wore a long-sleeved white Louis Vuitton gown complete with a front slit and an off-the-shoulder neckline, and the pair smiled to the crowd before posing on the event’s blue carpet.
The 2022 Ripple of Hope ceremony was hosted by Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin.
In addition to Harry and Meghan, the RFKHR event also included Frank Baker, co-founder and managing partner of Siris, Brian Moynihan, chairman of the board and CEO of Bank of America, and Michael Polsky, founder and CEO of Invenergie.
The ceremony also recognized NBA legend and civil rights icon Bill Russell with a posthumous award.
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