Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are to receive a new award handed out by the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights organisation for their “heroic” stance against the “structural racism” of the Royal Family. But do you think they should accept the award? Vote in our poll.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will receive the award in person at the Ripple of Hope Gala in New York on December 6, which will honour “exemplary leaders” who have demonstrated “an unwavering commitment” to social change.
The annual event is named after former US President John F. Kennedy’s younger brother, who was assassinated in 1968. His niece, lawyer and human rights activist Kerry Kennedy, will host the ceremony.
President of the association, Ms Kennedy, praised Harry and Meghan for having the courage to challenge the Royal Family’s “power structure”.
She told The Telegraph last week: “They 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.”
READ MORE: Harry and Meghan ‘brazen’ over award acceptance branded dig at royals
She continued: “They knew that if they did this there would be consequences, that they would be ostracised, they would lose their family, their position within this structure, and that people would blame them for it.
“They have done it anyway because they believed they couldn’t live with themselves if they didn’t question this authority. I think they have been heroic in taking this step.”
Previous winners of the Ripple of Hope award include current US President Joe Biden, former presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary, as well as U2 singer Bono and Desmond Tutu. The royal couple’s decision to accept the award has been met with criticism.
Professor David Nasaw, author of The Patriarch, about Joseph Kennedy, said: “I find it somewhere between sublimely ridiculous and blatantly ludicrous. It’s absurd.
“If you look at the people who have been awarded the Robert Kennedy prize in the past and then you have to ask what are Harry and Meghan doing here?”
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Royal commentator Jennie Bond described the move as “brazen”, claiming it is “another dig” at the Firm and “another open declaration that they believe Meghan was treated in a racist way”.
Speaking to OK! magazine, she said: “It’s really hurtful and a very rude presumption. I don’t believe there is structured racism in the Royal Family. This very public accusation is a huge kick in the teeth for them again.
“It’s very brazen of them to have accepted the award. I understand that there are limited options of what you can do after being presented with an honorary award. Should they have refused it? Or say it’s not appropriate? It’s hard to say, but overall, it’s a really sad situation.”
So what do YOU think? Should Meghan and Harry accept the award? Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.