Robert F. Kennedy’s daughter has revealed she’ll honor Prince Harry and Meghan for their ‘heroic’ stance against the ‘structural racism’ of the royal family at a NYC gala in her father’s honor.
She now plans to hand the couple a gong recognizing their achievements at the Ripple of Hope Gala in New York on December 6, with spots at their table going for up to $1 million. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will also be handed an award.
Kennedy, the ex-wife of disgraced New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, told The Telegraph: ‘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.’
She spoke about her late father’s visit to apartheid South Africa in 1966 and said that Harry and Meghan have the ‘moral courage’ that many people didn’t to discuss racial justice.
Kennedy said: ‘Few would have the courage to question their colleagues, family and community about the power structure they maintained, and this is what Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have done.’
Her remarks – and Harry and Meghan’s decision to accept the award – could drive a fresh wedge between the Sussexes and King Charles.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are set to be honored by the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Foundation, with the former Secretary of State’s daughter praising them for their ‘heroic’ stance against the racism of the British monarchy
He ascended to the throne in September after the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II. No decision has been made on whether to confer royal titles on the Sussexes children Archie and Lilibet until after an upcoming Netflix documentary and Harry’s autobiography Spare are released.
Harry and Meghan are also said to enjoy cool relations with Harry’s brother Prince William – now second in line to the throne – and his wife Kate Middleton. They saw their titles upgraded to Prince and Princess of Wales in the wake of the Queen’s death.
Both Harry and Meghan, who now live in a $14 million Californian mansion with Archie and daughters Lilibet, are expected to attend. The award will also be given to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Kennedy added that the Sussexes ‘knew that if they did this there would be consequences… 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,’ she said, according to The Telegraph.
Kerry Kennedy, one of RFK and Ethel Kennedy’s 11 children and the president of the foundation, says that the Sussexes have challenged the royal family’s ‘power structure’
Kennedy 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’
The couple stunned the world by quitting the royal family in January 2020.
Last year, they gave an interview to Oprah Winfrey where Meghan claimed an unnamed member of the royal family had expressed concerns about their unborn baby’s skin tone while she was pregnant with first son Archie.
Meghan is biracial; her mother Doria Ragland is black, while estranged dad Thomas Markle is white.
Previous winners of the award include Presidents Joe Biden, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, former presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Al Gore, Bono and Desmond Tutu.
Kerry Kennedy’s comments are in stark contrast to her brother, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who called the decision ‘bewildering.’
Kennedy is the ex-wife of disgraced former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Kennedy added that the Sussexes ‘knew that if they did this there would be consequences… 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’
Speaking to DailyMail.com exclusively on Monday, he said it was however ‘still an encouraging step up’ from Anthony Fauci, who won the award two years ago on behalf of his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘It’s a bewildering choice but still an encouraging step up from 2020,’ RFK Jr. said, referring to Fauci, about whom he has written a scathing book, and who he believes is a ‘fraud’.
RFK Jr. has no involvement in who receives the award, which is intended for ‘exemplary leaders across government, business, advocacy’, but was surprised by this year’s choice.
He and Kerry routinely spar publicly, especially over his vehement anti-vaccine stance.
RFK Human Rights did not respond to inquiries on Monday.
In her October announcement, Kerry said the couple had been chosen for their work on racial justice, mental health, and other social impact initiative’.
‘A bewildering choice’: JFK’s nephew, RFK Jr., tells DailyMail.com he is ‘baffled’ by his sisters’ decision to name Harry and Meghan as recipients of this year’s Ripple of Hope award
RFK Jr. has no involvement in who receives the award, which is intended for ‘exemplary leaders across government, business, advocacy’, but was surprised by this year’s choice
Tickets on the top table, where they will be sat, are being sold for up in packages worth up to $1million. The most expensive package – ‘the pioneer’ deal – buys four seats at the ‘head table’, two tables, VIP access and repeated recognition both on the program and at the event. The cheapest option is a one-plate ticket for a whopping $2,500
Kerry Kennedy announced Harry and Meghan as recipients of the award in October last year
RFK Jr. with wife Cheryl Hines, left, and his sister Kerry, who is in charge of the Ripple of Hope event
‘The couple has always stood out for their willingness to speak up and change the narrative on racial justice and mental health around the world.
‘They embody the type of moral courage that my father once called the “one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change.”‘
They will both attend the December 6 Ripple of Hope Gala in New York City.
Tickets on the top table, where they will be sat, are being sold for up in packages worth up to $1million.
The most expensive package – ‘the pioneer’ deal – buys four seats at the ‘head table’, two tables, VIP access and repeated recognition both on the program and at the event.
The cheapest option is a one-plate ticket for a whopping $2,500.
Alec Baldwin will emcee the event and Hollywood elite including Forest Whitaker, Alfre Woofard, Bradley Whitford, Kate Mulgrew are all listed as special guests this year.
CNN favorites Van Jones and Don Lemon are also expected to attend.
British Professor David Nasaw called it ‘blatantly ludicrous’ that the couple should be honored.
Alec Baldwin will emcee the event again this year. He is shown last year in the same role
‘If you look at the people who have been awarded the Robert Kennedy prize in the past – Bill and Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi [Speaker of the US House of Representatives], Bishop Desmond Tutu – and then you have to ask what are Harry and Meghan doing here?
‘What in God’s name have they done to merit this? What percentage of Harry and Meghan’s wealth is going to worthy causes?’ he said on Good Morning Britain on Monday.
It’s unclear when they were first considered as laureates for this year’s award.
Rory Kennedy, Kerry’s sister, runs a film production company with Liz Garbus, the director behind Harry and Meghan’s Netflix docuseries, but she has not confirmed whether she had any role in deciding who should be honored.
Others have suggested a more straightforward motive – driving ticket sales.
With Harry and Meghan’s attendance comes a whirlwind of global attention which may boost sales and encourage donations.
They are due to be in America around the same time as the Prince and Princess of Wales, who will be honored at a separate event in Boston on December 2.