The choice of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for a humanitarian prize has been blasted by a royal expert, who has accused the couple of pursuing “vengeance” against the Royal Family. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are set to receive the Robert F. Kennedy Ripple of Hope Award, handed to “exemplary leaders” of social change, alongside Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. They have not yet confirmed whether they will accept it and have been approached for comment by Express.co.uk.
The glittering gala ceremony takes place on December 6 in New York City, with the Sussexes said to be included in honours after taking a stand on “structural racism” within the Royal Family.
But royal commentator Kinsey Schofield has joined voices criticising the choice of candidate.
Ms Schofield, host of podcast To Di For Daily, told Express.co.uk: “When I think of humanitarians, I think of Princess Diana walking through a minefield, Doctors Without Borders, or Elizabeth Taylor co-founding The Foundation for AIDS Research.
“Not a woman that releases a weekly podcast vaguely complaining about a word used to describe her four years ago.
“We visually see and hear very little about Harry and Meghan contributing to anything but their pursuit of vengeance against the monarchy.”
The annual Ripple of Hope Award is organised by the Robert F Kennedy Human Rights foundation, named after former President John F Kennedy’s brother.
RFK was assassinated five years after his brother – in 1968.
The decision to honour Harry, 38, and Meghan, 41, was described as “bewildering” by RFK’s son, Robert F Kennedy Jr, who is not involved in selecting laureates and has a track record of criticising them.
Explaining the decision, his sister, Kerry Kennedy, said the Sussexes had been “heroic” in standing up against the royal institution.
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Ms Kennedy, a lawyer and human rights activist, said: “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.
“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.”
In March 2021, the couple sat down with Oprah Winfrey in their home state of California, making a series of bombshell claims against the Firm shortly after stepping down as senior working royals.
During the interview, Meghan claimed a member of the institution had discussed what Archie’s skin tone may have been before his birth, and also described struggles with her mental health.
Buckingham Palace responded by saying “issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning”, adding that “whilst some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately”.
Meghan has also previously described herself as the “most trolled person on the internet”, speaking in a 2020 podcast appearance. This year, the mother-of-two launched her own podcast, Archetypes, on Spotify.
It aims to “investigate, dissect, and subvert the labels that try to hold women back”.
So far, 12 episodes have been aired since its launch in August. It has aired weekly – apart from a month hiatus in September following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.