Mandla Mandela’s thoughts on Meghan’s comparisons to Nelson
Jonathan Sacerdoti was speaking after the publication of a profile piece in US magazine The Cut in which the Duchess of Sussex talked about her new life in California, her forthcoming Netflix documentary and husband Prince Harry’s strained relationship with father Prince Charles. During the course of the 6,500-word article, Meghan recalls a trip to the 2019 London premiere of the live-action version of The Lion King, shortly after the birth of son Archie.
At one point, she said she had been “pulled aside” by a South African cast member, adding: “He looked at me, and he’s just like light.
“He said, ‘I just need you to know: When you married into this family, we rejoiced in the streets the same we did when Mandela was freed from prison.’ ”
In 1964, Mandela, who was already served a five-year term for illegally leaving the country, was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of sabotage.
Meghan Markle’s reference to Nelson Mandela has prompted some fierce criticism
Meghan and Harry at the 2020 UN Nelson Mandela Prize award ceremony at the UN in New York
He spent the next 18 years at Robben Island prison in a damp cell measuring eight by seven feet, sleeping on a straw mat and breaking rocks into gravel during the day.
During his time there, Mandela suffered various health problems including contracting tuberculosis, and he was eventually transferred to the relative comfort of Victor Verster Prison in 1988, before being freed two years later.
In 1994, following the end of apartheid system, Mandela was elected South Africa’s first black leader.
Mr Sacerdoti, who frequently appears on Sky News to discuss Royal affairs, as well as contributing to The Spectator, told Express.co.uk: “In this sprawling profile and interview it’s hard to pick the most egregious comment made by Ms Markle, but her claim to be like Nelson Mandela must surely win that prize.
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Meghan and Harry meet Jay Z and Beyonce at the European Premiere of The Lion King in London in 2019
“Even a woman sitting in a $14M mansion who still thinks the world sees her as a princess despite her petulant disrespect for the royal family she joined and left as quickly as possible must surely realise she is nothing like Mandela.
“To even make or repeat this delusional comparison displays a stunning lack of self-awareness.”
Speaking yesterday, Mandela’s grandson Zwelivelile “Mandla” Mandela, an African National Congress MP, admitted his ”surprise” at Meghan’s remarks.
Using a common term of endearment for his grandfather, he added: “Madiba’s celebration was based on overcoming 350 years of colonialism, with 60 years of a brutal apartheid regime in South Africa. So it cannot be equated to as the same.
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Mandela’s grandson Zwelivelile “Mandla” Mandela
Archie Harrison Mountbatten Windsor, pictured in 2019, is now three
“Every day there are people who want to be Nelson Mandela, either comparing themselves with him or wanting to emulate him.
“But before people can regard themselves as Nelson Mandelas, they should be looking into the work that he did and be able to be champions and advocates of the work that he himself championed.
“Nelson Mandela’s release from jail was the culmination of nearly 350 years of struggle in which generations of our people paid with their lives.
“It can never be compared to the celebration of someone’s wedding.”
Meghan Markle’s family tree
Speaking to friend Oprah Winfrey during a televised interview in 2020, Meghan claimed an unnamed member of the Royal Family had speculated about Archie’s skin tone prior to his birth.
During her interview with The Cut, she complained that she had “no control” over which pictures of her children were released to the media.
She explained: “There’s literally a structure by which if you want to release photos of your child, as a member of the family, you first have to give them to the Royal Rota.
“Why would I give the very people that are calling my children the N-word a photo of my child before I can share it with the people that love my child?
Nelson Mandela visited his former Robben Island cell in 1994
“You tell me how that makes sense and then I’ll play that game.”
Meghan’s new podcast, Archetypes, with its slogan, ‘Don’t believe the type’, is now available on Spotify.
A statement on the Royal couple’s Archewell website explains: “We’re asking you to tell us about your experience with labels, because we know that the more we share our common experiences with these words, the more we chip away at their power.”
Express.co.uk has approached the Sussexes via Archewell for comment.