Meghan Markle’s reference to Nelson Mandela in a new interview elicited a less-than-enthusiastic response from one of the grandchildren of the former South African president.
The Duchess of Sussex recalled to The Cut that she appeared at the premiere of Disney’s photorealistic remake of ‘The Lion King’ in 2019. One of the South African actors in her film pulled her by her side to congratulate her on her wedding to Prince Harry, which took place a year earlier.
“He looked at me and it was like a light,” Markle explained. “I want you to know that when you married into this family, we rejoiced in the streets the same way Mandela was released from prison.”
Mandela, who died in 2013 at the age of 95, became South Africa’s first black head of state in 1994. Just four years before that he was released from prison after being sentenced to his 27-year life sentence for his anti-apartheid political ideals.
“We felt very likely that the crowd would kill us for their love,” he later wrote of the enthusiastic fanfare that greeted his release in Cape Town.
But in an interview with the Daily Mail published Tuesday, Mandela’s grandson expressed disappointment at Markle’s words.
African National Congress member of parliament, Zwerivellile “Mandra” Mandela, said the celebration of his grandfather’s release was “based on overcoming 350 years of colonialism by 60 years of brutal apartheid regimes in South Africa.” told the publication. Equivalent to modern times.
Nelson Mandela (left) and Princess Diana (1997) (Photo: ANNA ZIEMINSKI via Getty Images)
“Nelson Mandela’s release from prison was the culmination of nearly 350 years of struggle that has cost lives for generations,” said young Mandela. “It doesn’t compare to celebrating someone’s wedding.”
“Every day there are people who want to be Nelson Mandela. I want to compare myself to him or emulate him,” he continued. “But before people can see themselves as Nelson Mandela, they need to look at the work he did so they can become advocates and defenders of the work he himself championed.”
Interestingly, Markle’s remarks came just over a month after Prince Harry gave a moving keynote address at the United Nations to mark Nelson Mandela International Day.
The Duke of Sussex, describing Mandela as a man who “endured the worst of humanity, vicious racism and state-sponsored atrocities”, said his mother, Diana, had died in 1997, months before Diana’s death. It reminded me of the meeting between the princess and Mandela. He died the same year he died.
“In our own time, a time of global uncertainty and division, when it’s all too easy to look around and feel anger and despair, I go back to Mandela’s writings and think about how this is happening. He asked for insight into how he would get, and said, “How did he go through so much darkness and always find the light?”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.