Shortly after arriving at New York City’s United Nations headquarters hand-in-hand with Meghan Markle, Prince Harry gave his wife a shoutout during his speech honoring the late South African leader Nelson Mandela.
“When I first looked at the photo, straight away what jumped out is the joy on my mother’s face. The playfulness—cheekiness, even,” Prince Harry said. “The pure delight to be in communion with another soul so committed to serving humanity.”
He continued, “[Mandela was] still able to see the goodness in humanity, still buoyant with a beautiful spirit that lifted everyone around him. Not because he was blind to the ugliness, the injustices of the world, no. He saw them clearly. He had lived them. But because he knew we could overcome them.”
Since turning 13, Prince Harry has made several trips to Africa and has described the continent as “my lifeline” and “a place where I found peace and healing time and time again.” He added, “It’s where I felt closest to my mother and sought solace after she died, and where I knew I had found a soulmate in my wife.”
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle began dating in the summer of 2016 after being introduced through a mutual friend. In their first joint interview after their 2017 engagement, the prince revealed that the pair took a trip to Botswana after just two “back-to-back” dates in London.
“I managed to persuade her to come and join me in Botswana. We camped out with each other under the stars. She came and joined me for five days out there, which was absolutely fantastic,” Harry said at the time, per People. “So then we were really by ourselves, which was crucial to me to make sure that we had a chance to know each other.”