"We all feel very proud": Prince Harry and Meghan Markle receive President's Award at NAACP 

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry quietly volunteered throughout Los Angeles, distributing meals and assisting in back-to-school drives during the pandemic (Image via Getty Images/Karwai Tang)
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry quietly volunteered throughout Los Angeles, distributing meals and assisting in back-to-school drives during the pandemic (Image via Getty Images/Karwai Tang)

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry received a prestigious award for their philanthropic work. On February 26, 2022, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were present on stage at the NAACP Image Awards to accept the President's Award in acknowledgment of their special achievement and distinguished public service.

The honor has previously been given to Muhammad Ali, Jesse Jackson, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, LeBron James, and Rihanna.

Harry and Meghan, who founded the Archewell Foundation in 2020, have supported efforts against the COVID-19 pandemic, and promoted the Black Lives Matter movement and racial justice.

As the couple gave their acceptance speech, Harry thanked the Black community for giving him a warm welcome, while Markle — who brought her mother Doria Ragland to the event — said she was very proud of them.

Meghan Markle spoke about the legacy of the Image Awards, which started soon after 1964's Civil Rights Act and 1965's Voting Rights Act were passed. She said:

"Today, we can continue that legacy by re-establishing federal voting protections in our country and fulfilling the work of civil rights giants, like the late John Lewis. We are so deeply humbled to be here in the company of so many illustrious awardees."

Prince Harry began his address by acknowledging the people of Ukraine, referring to the recent Russian invasion of the country. He then said that although he and Markle come from different backgrounds, they share a "commitment to a life of service, a responsibility to combat injustice and a belief that the most often overlooked are the most important to listen to."

The Suits actress also spoke about how the duo moved to California, her home state, before George Floyd was murdered. She said that "those nine minutes and 29 seconds transcended time" for Black America, and added:

"In the months that followed, as my husband and I spoke with the civil rights community, we committed ourselves and our organization, Archewell, to illuminating those who are advancing racial justice and progress."

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry also discussed digital justice in their acceptance speech

Harry and Meghan wore outfits designed by Black designers: Meghan's flowing blue gown by Christopher John Rogers, and Harry's tuxedo by Ozwald Boateng. Additionally, they collaborated with the NAACP to create a new award, the NAACP Archwell Digital Civil Rights Award, which will recognize leaders who create transformational change at the intersection of technology and social justice to advance civil and human rights.

The duo acknowledged her work and the new award was presented to Dr. Safiya Noble, co-founder of the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry, and a renowned scholar. She said:

"As this fight for justice still remains, it's time to extend this march to the world online, a place where hate and discrimination are fueled instantly, propagated globally and felt deeply. This is the era of the digital justice movement."

Meghan Markle and Harry's award show appearance marks their first high-profile Hollywood moment since moving to California in 2020. A number of other celebrities also attended the awards show, including Zendaya, Mary J. Blige, Michael Strahan, Tiffany Haddish, Questlove, Morgan Freeman, Kerry Washington, and more.


Twitter reactions on Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's win

The duo's win at the event impressed their fans and admirers on Twitter. Many even applauded Markle for bringing her mother to the awards function.

Since relocating to California, Meghan and Harry, who are parents to two-year-old Archie and eight-month-old Lili, have made a handful of public appearances. During the pandemic, they quietly volunteered throughout Los Angeles, distributing meals and assisting in back-to-school drives.

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Edited by Sandeep Banerjee
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