The wild claim that Meghan Markle’s royal wedding was compared to the liberation of anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela has been challenged by the only people she could possibly have mentioned.
Markle, 41, told New York magazine’s The Cut, which graced the cover of this week’s issue, that the 2019 premiere received rave reviews from the South African cast members of Disney’s live-action version of The Lion King.
“He said, ‘When you married into this family, I rejoiced in the streets as much as Mandela was released from prison.’
The comments were even stronger because Markle was “afraid to go out” while still in the UK and was in a “brutal chapter” in her life.
But none of the South Africans known to be involved in the production know anything about the pioneering president’s widely derided comparison to Freedom after 27 years in prison.
Actor John Kani said he was the only one who fully matched the description of being a male cast member from South Africa, although he “did not attend the London premiere,” he said. The agent told The Telegraph.
“Unfortunately, he has no recollection of meeting Meghan Markle,” his agent said.
Kani, who voiced Rafiki in the Disney film, said she was “genuinely surprised” by Markle’s suggestion that any South African would have appreciated a royal wedding.
“It’s baffling me,” the actor told DailyMail.com.
“This seems like a failure of hers. … It could be her misremembering,” he said philanthropicly.
Although not a cast member, South African composer Levohan Morake Lebo M. attended the London premiere. —but neither was Markle’s recollection of anyone receiving such lofty praise during a brief chat with her husband, Prince Harry.
“I don’t remember the details of that conversation, which lasted less than a minute, except for the Royals going to South Africa or Botswana,” he told The Telegraph.
A video of the event shows the composer standing next to pop star Pharrell Williams, smiling as he greets the then senior royals.
The footage appears to show Harry talking about the importance of people working together “all over South Africa, England,” but it doesn’t say anything about Mandela or the royal wedding, according to The Telegraph. I pointed out. There was also no sign of him pulling her aside for a secret chat.
According to the British newspaper, the only other South African involved in the film was actress Lindiwe Muhaize. But she couldn’t be the “him” the Duchess quoted, and she never met Markle.
One of Mandela’s grandchildren scoffed at the suggestion that some would compare the public joy of the moment announcing the end of apartheid to a “Suits” actress marrying a “white prince.”
Mandela’s 1990 celebrations were “based on overcoming 350 years of colonialism and 60 years of brutal apartheid regimes in South Africa,” Zweri Beryl Mandela Mandela told the Daily Mail.
“It doesn’t compare to celebrating someone’s wedding.”
According to The Mail, neither the Sussexes nor Disney have responded to requests for comment on the latest allegations.
Kat declined to comment, the outlet said.