Meghan and Harry are expected to jet into Britain on Sunday as the ructions continue over the Duchess of Sussex‘s transatlantic ‘truth bombs’ in the US media and on her Archetypes Spotify podcast.
The couple are returning to the UK for the first time since the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in early June with Meghan declaring this week that she has upset the Royal Family‘s dynamic ‘just by existing’ and experts claimed there is a ‘cold war’ between the Windsors and the Sussexes.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are expected to be in Europe for around six days next week with two confirmed engagements in the UK and one in Germany to promote the next Invictus Games.
Harry and Meghan will attend three events in Europe – it is not yet known if they will see the Queen at Balmoral
It remains unclear if they will visit the Queen at Balmoral amid concerns about her health, an ongoing row about their security with the Home Office and Meghan’s barrage of apparent swipes at the royals in the US media, claiming she and Harry had been treated differently and warned she could ‘say anything’.
The couple will visit Manchester on Monday for the One Young World Summit where Meghan, 40, will address the opening ceremony that evening.
They will also meet a group of summit delegates doing ‘outstanding work on gender equality’. The summit brings together young leaders from more than 190 countries. Meghan has been a One Young World counsellor since 2014.
The Sussexes will then head to Dusseldorf in Germany for the Invictus Games 2023 One Year To Go event on Tuesday before returning to the UK for the WellChild Awards in London on Thursday where Harry will deliver a speech.
They will land in the UK after Meghan told a US magazine that a South African actor had told her that on their wedding day his country had ‘rejoiced in the streets the same we did when [Nelson] Mandela was freed from prison’. But the actor who claims he was the only South African cast member in the film told MailOnline he was ‘baffled’ because he has never met the duchess.
In June the Sussexes kept a low profile and spent most of their time at Frogmore Cottage, where they are expected to stay after jetting into Britain, most likely on Sunday. But experts predicted that they will take centre stage on their trip, which may also be filmed as part of their rumoured £83million [$100million] deal.
Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams has said that their tie-up with the streaming giant could explain the visit. He said: ‘Their poll ratings have been terrible for a long time, there is a deep rift with the Royal Family which won’t heal soon. I am puzzled why they are coming’.
PR guru and brand expert Mark Borkowski said he expects Meghan to use the trip to gain publicity. He told MailOnline: ‘This remains a Cold War between houses still in conflict. To those outside looking in, it appears that Meghan is constantly looking to intersect the news agenda’.
He said that a portrait of Meghan that was remarkably similar to one of Harry’s mother was ‘was perfectly timed at a time the world was remembering Diana’ on the 25th anniversary of her death this week.
Mr Borkowski said: ‘It appears she [Meghan] is a modern celebrity that is defined by her media profile. This is a pedantic explanation to suggest that the visit will be one that will be in the full glare of the media, she will be using every occasion to regenerate her narrative. It’s a new form of photosynthesis – converting media energy to extract the nutrients for continued brand fame’.
Harry and Meghan flew to the UK by private jet to Farnborough, west of London, in June for the Jubilee. They could do the same again in a trip that will take them to Manchester, London and Dusseldorf
The Sussexes (pictured in New York last month) are visiting the UK and Germany next week
Locals caught a peek inside the gates of Frogmore Cottage this week – just days before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are due to return to Britain
Yesterday it emerged that Meghan found her journal at Frogmore during the Jubilee celebrations where they were not invited onto the Buckingham Palace balcony. The discovery will raise fears that she could publish her account of royal life before they emigrated. Harry’s own memoirs are already underway.
It is the first time the couple have been to the UK since the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in early June when they attended the service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral but kept a low profile. They also visited in April when they secretly met Prince Charles and the Queen on the way to Holland for the Invictus Games.
It is thought unlikely the couple will bring their children Archie, three, and Lilibet, 14 months, on the trip.
The couple have given a series of interviews since their decision to quit Britain for a new life in California, including the notorious Oprah Winfrey interview in which Harry claimed his father had stopped taking his calls.
In her latest interview – with New York magazine The Cut – Meghan was asked if her relationship with the royals and with her own family could be healed.
She said: ‘It takes a lot of effort to forgive. I’ve really made an active effort, especially knowing that I can say anything.’
But her description of Harry’s relationship with his father Prince Charles threatened to cause new hurt.
Diana would not have been a ‘great fan’ of Meghan Markle as she ‘might imagine’, a former friend of the Princess of Wales has said on the 25th anniversary of the royal’s death.
The Princess’ diarist Tina Brown said she thinks Diana would have seen the former actress as someone who is ‘steering Harry in a direction that was not good’ for the Prince.
Ms Brown added: ‘I don’t think Diana would have been the great fan of Meghan that Meghan herself might perhaps imagine.’
Speaking to the Daily Beast, she added that Diana would also have been ‘thrilled’ by the Duke meeting his wife who has made ‘her son was happy’.
‘She would have been delighted, supportive and thrilled someone of mixed race was joining the royal family because Diana was so inclusive,’ she added.
Ms Brown has previously said Megxit had affected the Royal Family, saying they were ‘still reeling’ and ‘just baffled’ at why the relationship with the Sussexes suddenly deteriorated.
Diana was killed suddenly in a car crash on August 31, 1997, when she was 36 – and when William and Harry were just 15 and 12.
The brothers paid their own private respects to Princess Diana yesterday, on the 25th anniversary of her death, rather than doing so jointly in public as in previous years.
She told interviewer Allison P Davis: ‘Harry said to me, “I lost my dad in this process.” It doesn’t have to be the same for them as it was for me, but that’s his decision.’
She later appeared to backtrack, when a source told Page Six in the New York Post that she had meant she did not want Harry to lose his father.
Further questions were raised yesterday over the Duchess of Sussex’s suggestion that her wedding to Prince Harry prompted jubilant celebrations in South Africa.
Meghan, 41, told a US magazine that a South African actor had told her his country had ‘rejoiced in the streets the same we did when [Nelson] Mandela was freed from prison’.
She said the encounter took place as she attended the London premiere of the live-action version of The Lion King in 2019.
But an actor who says he was the only South African cast member in the film said he was ‘baffled’ because he has never met the duchess.
Dr John Kani said Meghan’s wedding to Prince Harry was ‘no big deal’ in South Africa and could not be compared to the landmark release of the anti-apartheid campaigner after 27 years in prison.
The former Royal Shakespeare Company actor told MailOnline: ‘That was a world event. Surely Miss Meghan or whatever marrying into royalty cannot in any way be spoken in the same breath or even the same sentence as that moment.’
The Sussexes recently renewed their lease on Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, in an unexpected move that sparked speculation that they may have plans for more frequent visits to the UK in future. They are said to love the property and held Lilibet’s 1st birthday party there in June.
Meghan spoke of how ‘surreal’ it was to go back to Frogmore when she and Harry returned to Britain for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
The pair only attended one major event across the weekend in June – and spent most of their time at the property, packing up their belongings.
A piece in New York Magazine reports Meghan recalling: ‘You go back and you open drawers and you’re like, Oh my gosh. This is what I was writing in my journal there? And here’s all my socks from this time?’
The article suggested she collected her sofa, art posters collected while travelling with friends, and thrown into ‘good old Ikea frames’, which was described as ‘a past message from a single self she hadn’t fully wanted to leave behind’.
They also celebrated daughter Lilibet’s first birthday with a casual picnic in the gardens of the house.
Harry and Meghan have allowed Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank to use the five-bedroom house while they live in their £13m Californian mansion, but sources said recently the renewal of the lease is ‘a signal that they aren’t going to disappear’.
An insider told the Sun earlier this year: ‘By agreeing to extend the lease, and with Jack and Eugenie focusing on Portugal, they have a firm prescence smack bang in the middle of Windsor court where it’s all happening.
‘They can now come and go any time they please. The coming year could be one of the most tumultuous in royal history and the Sussexes are making sure they have a foothold in Windsor.’
The couple are back in the UK next week for a number of events, but are said to not be planning to attending Balmoral, the Scottish Highlands estate where the Queen is expected to remain for the next few weeks as concerns grow over her mobility issues.
The Telegraph understands the couple are still waiting on decisions around their security while in the UK before they decide if they travel off schedule. A Home Office panel is also set to decide whether they qualify for protection by the Met Police.
On September 5, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will travel from their home in California to visit Manchester for the One Young World Summit, where Meghan will give the keynote address at the opening ceremony.
The couple will then head to Germany for an event to commemorate a year until the Invictus Games in Dusseldorf on September 6, before returning to the UK for the WellChild Awards in London on September 8 where Prince Harry – a long-term patron of the charity – will deliver a speech.
It is believed that September 7 is then not taken up with any engagements, meaning they could go and visit family.
But it is believed that like when the US-based couple were in the UK in June, when they kept a low profile, they will spend much of their time at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor. Harry, 37, last saw his Grandmother during her Platinum Jubilee, where he reportedly only had around 15 minutes with her.
They also visited in April, when they secretly met with Prince Charles and the Queen on their way to the Netherlands.
After this trip, the Duke spoke about ensuring his grandmother has ‘the right people around her’ when he appeared to make a swipe at royal household staff during an interview with NBC including the so-called ‘men in grey suits’ who advise the Queen.
This latest news comes as warring brothers Prince William and Prince Harry will reportedly not mark the 25th anniversary of Diana’s death on Wednesday together – neither in public or private.
When the Sussexes fled the horrors of palace life in 2020, it was America — land of the free, home of the brave and the mega-bucks media deal — that welcomed them with open arms.
The public and Press hungrily swallowed every last morsel of the couple’s harrowing tale of racism and rejection in that infamous interview with a fawning Oprah Winfrey. Their treatment at the hands of the wicked British Press generated shock and sympathy.
Soon they became the Duke and Duchess ‘across the water’, building a new, 21st-century court of their own, rubbing shoulders with Hollywood stars and the super-rich, nurturing their own brand of philanthropy and exploiting their royal titles while striking multi-million-dollar business deals, which, to most Americans, was acceptable, if not admirable.
Yet just two years on, there are worrying signs that America may be beginning to tire of it all. Worrying, that is, for the Sussexes, who need to keep milking public interest in them if they are to pay for that lavish lifestyle in Montecito, revealed in some detail in the Duchess’s latest interview with New York fashion website The Cut.
When the Sussexes fled the horrors of palace life in 2020, it was America — land of the free, home of the brave and the mega-bucks media deal — that welcomed them with open arms
Could it be that Americans are waking up to the fact there may be little more to the Sussexes than their seemingly bottomless well of grievance about their treatment in the UK?
As the Mail reported yesterday, the New York Post’s front page marked Meghan’s latest media foray with the headline ‘Toddler And Tiara: Spoiled princess Meghan STILL whining about royal family’.
More significantly, the venerable Washington Post cautioned her that ‘to succeed in the media, [she] needs to leave royal traumas behind’. And one U.S. TV insider claimed ‘some of the lustre’ has gone.
Indeed, a milestone moment in the Sussexes’ relationship with the U.S. may well prove to be that interview with The Cut.
It was intensely revealing — and not, principally, for Meghan’s outrageous and occasionally risible headline-stealing comments, such as the astonishing claim that her joining the Royal Family had been a moment of international jubilation comparable to the release of Nelson Mandela.
Even more surprising, the interview was, in fact, quite negative about her.
The Cut is part of New York Magazine, which is about as woke as you get in the mainstream U.S. media — a fact that no doubt weighed heavily in the Sussex camp’s decision to grant its journalist an audience.
And yet the undercurrent of disapproval in the 6,400-word piece — by African-American feature writer Allison P. Davis — was hard to miss.
Meghan greets her with ‘the perfect level of warmth’ at the couple’s £11.2 million mansion, and the writer is struck by the moneyed, impeccably tasteful if ‘marshmallowy’ splendour.
As the Mail reported yesterday, the New York Post’s front page marked Meghan’s latest media foray with the headline ‘Toddler And Tiara: Spoiled princess Meghan STILL whining about royal family’
Then there is the delicious irony revealed in the grandness of a pair who rejected royal life, but who work from two plush club chairs behind a single desk ‘facing into the room like thrones’, and where ‘an invisible hand’ lights a Soho House candle.
As for the interview, Davis reports every remark, no matter how nonsensical, while repeatedly hinting that Meghan is far more calculating and self-absorbed than she’d have us believe.
Davis writes — in reference to the cheesy and contrived U.S. dating reality TV series The Bachelor — that the Duchess ‘sometimes converses like she has a tiny Bachelor producer in her brain, directing what she says’.
She describes how, instead of answering a question, Meghan at one point suggests how her interviewer ‘might transcribe the noises she’s making’. (Guttural, by the way.)
Later, in response to a question about why she thinks the Royal Family treated the pair worse than other family members, ‘the Bachelor producer in her head deliberates how much should be said’, Davis writes archly.
‘ “I don’t know,” she says, casting a knowing gaze out into the middle distance.’
On another occasion, the Duchess theatrically reveals in a ‘conspiratorial hush’ that she is planning a return to social media site Instagram (though she later backtracked). Meghan ‘looks around, making sure nobody (who would be?) is listening in’, Davis writes.
She’s similarly sarcastic when Meghan tells her she and Harry initially couldn’t afford their new home — a revelation Davis finds ‘utterly humbling’.
Granted, the interview is hardly a Jeremy Paxman-style encounter, but it should have rung warning bells for the Sussexes. Such U.S. media mockery of the former Meghan Markle would have been unimaginable a year ago.
As a veteran member of the U.S. news media told the Mail yesterday: ‘It had you wondering if [they] can still rely on any of us to fight their corner without just a smidgeon of balance — they can’t expect us to doff the cap for ever.’
And the quietly mocking tone of this interview certainly had an effect on its readers. The great and good of liberal New York savaged the Duchess in the online comments, in which they dismissed the Sussexes as supremely ‘self-obsessed’ and vapid, while others asked simply: ‘Who cares?’
But if Americans do lose all interest in the couple, it will throw into question the very delicate economics that have allowed the couple to live — as Davis puts it — in a ‘palace in a better climate’.
The couple were reportedly able to afford their home only after they had signed two huge media deals — one for $25 million to produce podcasts with Spotify, and another with Netflix, said to be worth $100 million, to make films, documentaries and TV shows.
On top of the house, they have to finance a lifestyle that stretches to private security and private jets. However, both deals depend on the Sussexes producing ‘content’ and, so far, that has been very much lacking.
Compounding the pressure for results is the fact that both deals were made in 2020 when the media companies were far healthier than they are now.
Some industry insiders have wondered whether the couple are struggling to find anything noteworthy to say beyond their split with the Royal Family.
In May, Netflix abruptly cancelled Pearl, an animated children’s series that had been a passion project of the Duchess. According to entertainment industry website theankler.com, the news set off ‘a fire alarm at Archewell’, the Sussexes’ production company.
Could it be that Americans are waking up to the fact there may be little more to the Sussexes than their seemingly bottomless well of grievance about their treatment in the UK? A woman is seen protesting outside an event attended by Harry and Meghan to mark Nelson Mandela International Day in July
‘Harry and Meghan called an all-hands meeting,’ an Archewell insider told the website. ‘They were deeply concerned about the optics of this. Meghan wanted to talk to Ted [Sarandos, the co-chief executive of Netflix].’
Sources told the website that the company’s underwhelming output is partly down to a ‘lack of urgency’ from a couple with so many other interests (Harry’s polo and their charity work), but also down to the Duchess’s alleged vacillation.
‘She’s terrified of making a decision because she’s so concerned about her image, and so they can’t pull the trigger on anything,’ said a source who has spoken with Archewell about its content strategy. ‘She wants to be seen as this world leader, but they don’t have any strong ideas.’
Netflix claims there are Archewell projects on the horizon, but won’t say more.
Similar uncertainty hangs over the couple’s other big potential money-spinner: Harry’s autobiography with its apparent bombshell revelations — now reportedly delayed until next year.
Will it ever come out and, if it does, will it just be another retread of their life of suffering in the Royal Family?
This week, after a conversation with singer Mariah Carey — for Meghan’s new Spotify podcast, Archetypes — became an opportunity for the Duchess to complain that she’d never been treated as a ‘black woman’ until she started dating Prince Harry, even the fiercely progressive Washington Post, once one of the Sussexes’ staunchest defenders in the U.S. media, lost patience.
In an editorial, the newspaper pointed out that the couple’s entitled existence made them ill-suited to lecturing others.
‘The more the pair talk about what they suffered in England, the more it seems that’s all Americans want to hear from them,’ said a Post columnist.
‘The only way for the Sussexes to build a truly new life, and have a wider impact on the causes they care about, is to stop making themselves the centre of the story.’
The waning support for the Sussexes and their one-note narrative was, in fact, starting to become evident soon after the Oprah Winfrey interview in March 2021, when an Economist/YouGov poll found their popularity had already slipped from a year earlier.
Just less than half (48 per cent) of respondents had a ‘favourable or somewhat favourable’ view of Meghan, while a third had a ‘very or somewhat unfavourable’ view of her.
In May this year, another YouGov poll found that her popularity among fellow Americans had tumbled further: 46 per cent now said they had a ‘very or somewhat unfavourable’ view of her — up 13 points.
Last month, a different survey found that only a quarter of Americans were ‘very or fairly interested’ in reading Harry’s memoirs. That’s still rather more enthusiasm than in the UK (14 per cent), but the gap is surprisingly close.
Interestingly, the couple do not have to look too far to find their rivals for transatlantic affection. As one U.S. TV insider reportedly said this week: ‘We are more likely to do something on William and Kate now.’
The Cambridges have recently appointed a new PR chief, Lee Thompson, who previously worked for U.S. media conglomerate NBC, and there are two major trips planned.
Later this month, Prince William will fly to New York — his first visit to the U.S. in eight years — for a summit for environmental initiative the Earthshot Prize. He will return stateside in December to present it to the winners in Boston.
It is yet to be confirmed if Kate — who enjoys enormous popularity in the U.S. — will accompany him.
If she does, we can no doubt expect some more headline-grabbing action from Meghan in response. But this time it may not be enough to push the Duchess of Cambridge out of the spotlight.
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By Shekhar Bhatia and Martin Robinson, Chief Reporter
An acclaimed actor and friend of Nelson Mandela today told MailOnline he is ‘baffled’ by the Duchess of Sussex‘s suggestion that his country had ‘rejoiced’ when she married Prince Harry – and revealed he has never met her despite claiming to be the only South African member of the cast in Disney’s recent remake of The Lion King.
Dr John Kani believes the Duchess of Sussex has made ‘a faux pas’ after she used a US magazine interview to imply her 2018 royal wedding sparked celebrations in South Africa reminiscent of the release of his friend Madiba, the legendary anti-apartheid leader.
He said Mr Mandela’s walk to freedom after 27 years was a ‘landmark moment’ while her marriage to Prince Harry was ‘no big deal’ in South Africa, adding that the two events ‘cannot be spoken in the same breath’ and ‘you can’t really say where you were when Meghan married Harry’.
She [Meghan] recalls a moment from the 2019 London premiere of the live-action version of The Lion King. ‘I just had Archie. It was such a cruel chapter. I was scared to go out.’ A cast member from South Africa pulled her aside. ‘He looked at me, and he’s just like light. He said, “I just need you to know: When you married into this family, we rejoiced in the streets the same we did when Mandela was freed from prison.” ‘
Of course, she knows she’s no Mandela, but perhaps even telling me this story is a mode of defense, because if you are a symbol for all that is good and charitable, how can anybody find you objectionable, how can anybody hate you?
The bombshell interview in The Cut suggested Meghan had been told the opposite by a male South African cast member at the London premiere of the Lion King live action film held in 2019. It reported the Duchess as saying: ‘He looked at me, and he’s just like light. He said, “I just need you to know: When you married into this family, we rejoiced in the streets the same we did when Mandela was freed from prison”.’
But Dr Kani, a veteran of the Royal Shakespeare Company who voiced the mandrill shaman Rafiki, told MailOnline that he was the only South African in the Disney movie, has never met Meghan and was not at the UK premiere.
He said the only other South African who was involved was Lebo M, a composer who together with Hans Zimmer was responsible for the music for The Lion King. But Lebo M was not in the cast.
Sitting under a portrait of his friend Mr Mandela at his Johannesburg home, he said: ‘I have never met Meghan Markle. This seems like something of a faux pas by her. I have I have never met the Duchess at all. I am the only South African member of the cast and I did not attend the premiere in London.
‘I went to Hollywood as we opened there and from there I had to go immediately to Paris where I was shooting a film sequel, so I couldn’t hang around. The only South African was me playing Rafiki. But I did not go to the opening in Leicester Square as I didn’t have the time to do that. It just may be a mis-remembering on her side.
‘It is baffling me. I am the only South African in the cast. I play Rafiki, Seth Rogen plays Pumbaa, Donald Glover plays Simba and Beyonce plays Nala.’
The actor insisted that Harry and Meghan’s nuptials were ‘no big deal’ in his country, adding: ‘I cannot even tell you now what month she married or what year’.
Dr Kani said he did not believe that the people of South Africa celebrated Meghan’s marriage to Prince Harry on the scale that greeted the release of anti-apartheid campaigner Nelson Mandela as claimed by her.
He said: ‘In my memory, nobody would have known when she got married, when or what. We had no South African link to the wedding or to her marrying Harry.’
He said: ‘I am truly surprised by this. For me it is a non-event, the whole thing’.
MailOnline has approached the Sussexes and Disney about his claims. The Cut declined to comment.
Speaking exclusively to MailOnline, Dr John Kani has said that he was the only South African star of the Disney movie, has never met Meghan and was not at the UK premiere so was not the source of the royal’s anecdote
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex at the premiere of The Lion King at the Odeon Leicester Square in London on July 14, 2019
South African president Nelson Mandela and Princess Diana at Mandela’s home in Cape Town, South Africa, on March 17, 1997
‘The world stopped in February 11 1990. The entire country and most of the people born in the seventies didn’t know what Mr Mandela looked like.
‘When the gates of Pollsmoor (Prison) opened, the entire South African nation, the entire African continent and the world were glued.
‘We only realised that he (Mr Mandela) was the one walking next to Winnie (his wife of the time) when he raised his hand and we said “Oh, that’s him” because none of us had seen Mr Mandela since 1964’.
‘That was a world event. Surely Miss Meghan or whatever marrying into royalty cannot in any way be spoken in the same breath or even the same sentence as that moment.
‘It lives in our memories forever to the world. It is a kind of “Where were you when JFK was shot…where were you when Nelson Mandela was released”?
‘You can’t really say where you were when Meghan married Harry.
‘I am confused about this. She is an important person in her own life.
‘But there are various opinions all over the world about them severing their ties with the Royal Family and Harry not being able to serve and do his normal duties and their moving to America and the interviews with Oprah Winfrey and all that. We’ve been following that story with interest really, but that is all.
‘But beyond that I don’t know her, never met her and wasn’t in London and I am the only South African actor in The Lion King.’
Mr Kani, who directed programme for Mr Mandela, said he did not believe Meghan’s self-comparison to Mr Mandela was an insult to South Africa.
‘There were so many people that came to South Africa who just wanted to meet with Nelson Mandela.
‘At one stage we were so bored about it, that we wanted to do a Mandela cardboard cut-out so that they could take a picture with the cardboard cut-out.
‘Mr Mandela was an enigma to South Africa and he was an elder. There was that added cultural dimension in meeting with him.
‘You knew you were meeting an elder, more as a father than as a President. We used to to call him “Dada” which means Daddy.
‘I really wouldn’t want to call it an insult. It must be a faux pas. There is something Meghan is mixing up with.’
Hours earlier Nelson Mandela’s grandson delivered a fresh attack on Meghan Markle and urged her to ‘pull up her sleeves’ and do more for ordinary people after she drew a comparison between her royal wedding day and Madiba’s walk from prison after 27 years of incarceration.
Zwelivelile ‘Mandla’ Mandela told MailOnline he was ‘surprised’ at her remarks in The Cut magazine when she claimed that three years ago a cast member of the Lion King told her that ‘we rejoiced in the streets the same we did when Mandela was freed from prison’.
He declared that ‘every day there are people who want to be Nelson Mandela, either comparing themselves with him or wanting to emulate him’.
Today he told The Times that his advice to the former actress was: ‘Get out there, pull up your sleeves and better the lives of ordinary people in England and in the United Kingdom’, adding: ‘For the personality she is, she can do a lot of good in the global community by adopting the causes that Madiba championed’.
The furore was sparked by a 6,409-word article called ‘Meghan of Montecito’ published yesterday, where the former Suits star recalled an encounter she had at the 2019 London premiere of a live-action version of the Disney classic.
She said an actor from South Africa pulled her aside and told her: ‘I just need you to know: When you married into this family, we rejoiced in the streets the same we did when Mandela was freed from prison’.
Zwelivelile ‘Mandla’ Mandela told MailOnline he was ‘surprised’ at an article in The Cut magazine which claimed that three years ago a cast member of the Lion King told Meghan that ‘we rejoiced in the streets the same we did when Mandela was freed from prison’
Mandla said that people across South Africa had rejoiced at his release in 1990, because his dramatic walk to freedom had signalled a victory over apartheid and colonialism.
The African National Congress MP said his grandfather’s release was a moment of huge national significance, which should not be compared to the duchess’s 2018 marriage ‘to a white prince’.
He told MailOnline: ‘It can never be compared to the celebration of someone’s wedding. Madiba’s celebration was based on overcoming 350 years of colonialism with 60 years of a brutal apartheid regime in South Africa. So It cannot be equated to as the same.’
But MailOnline has learned that the story has astonished the Mandela family. ‘Mandla’ Mandela, an MP and Chief of the late South African President’s Mvezo tribe, said he was ‘surprised’ at her remarks.
His grandfather served 27 years in prison before being released and re-uniting opponents and going on to lead his country.
Zwelivelile said when the people of South Africa expressed their joy at his grandfather’s release and danced in the streets, it was for a far more important and serious reason than her marriage ‘to a white prince’.
The African National Congress MP added: ‘We are still bearing scars of the past. But they (Mr Mandela’s celebrations) were a product of the majority of our people being brought out onto the streets to exercise the right of voting for the first time.
‘He spoke for oppressed minorities, children and women and protracting the most vulnerable people in our society.
‘He always spoke about oppressed nations around the globe and yet people are silent on those issues.
‘But this is what we like to see (from) people when they regard themselves as being a “Nelson Mandela”.
‘Then you could be a champion of the causes that he represented.’
He added: ‘My advice to everyone is to live the life Nelson Mandela lived and support the causes he supported.
‘That is the ultimate litmus test. What is the value of people dancing in the street and chanting President Nelson Mandela’s name when what they stand for is diametrically opposed to what he stood for?
‘Nelson Mandela’s release from jail was the culmination of nearly 350 years of struggle in which generations of our people paid with their lives. It can never be compared to the celebration of someone’s wedding.’
Meghan’s claim has sparked rage and ridicule with critics telling her to ‘get lost’ and accusing her of showing ‘utmost disrespect’.
Reacting to MailOnline’s exclusive story today, royal expert Angela Levin said: ‘How long is Meghan going to pour out her drivel? It’s enough already. Not a surprise to learn that Mandela’s grandson is cross Meghan compares her wedding to Mandela’s release from prison.’
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex meet Graca Machel, widow of the late Nelson Mandela, on the last day of their tour in Africa
‘Mandla’ Mandela, the great man’s grandson, told MailOnline that when the people of South Africa expressed their joy at his grandfather’s release and danced in the streets, it was for a far more important and serious reason than Meghan’s marriage ‘to a white prince
Nelson Mandela and wife Winnie, walking hand in hand, raise clenched fists upon his release from Victor prison, Cape Town, in this Sunday, February 11, 1990
Jubilant inhabitants of Soweto attend a mass African National Congress (ANC) rally following Mandela’s release
South Africans have said there was no rejoicing in the streets when Meghan and Harry married
Harry and Meghan have built up quite a relationship with the Mandela family in recent years – following in the footsteps of Harry’s parents Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
Just last month, Harry gave a speech at the UN General Assembly for Nelson Mandela Day in New York City on July 18.
Meghan Markle’s claims that a fire broke out in son Archie’s nursery in South Africa have been backed up by a security source.
The insider, who is believed to be close to the Duchess of Sussex and was attached to her security detail during the 10-day tour in 2019, said he personally saw the ‘severely melted’ heater.
He said Meghan received a message that there had been a ‘fire’ and her vehicle ‘broke away’ from the security convoy.
The source told The Citizen that the heater fire at the official residence supplied by the British High Commission was never reported and British police told them to ‘keep it quiet’.
It is the first confirmation that a fire as reported in a podcast by Meghan Markle actually happened after the British Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office refused to comment. And the source said that when Meghan exited her security vehicle she was ‘scared’ and that she ‘bolted’ into the official residence ‘like every mother would’ if she feared for her baby.
But the source, speaking on condition of anonymity, could not confirm if Archie was in the room or was downstairs as has been claimed.
He said he was part of small team looking after the Duke and Duchess but mainly attached to Meghan helping escort her between the official guest residence and her royal engagements.
The trusted source revealed how the security plan changed as the convoy was returning from an official visit saying: ‘I’m not sure if we came from Nyanga or Monwabisi but there was an event.
‘We were driving in convoy and all of a sudden the convoy with Meghan broke away. We followed after. We weren’t sure what was going on. The Prince was on his way to a thing with the navy’.
The Sussexes met Graca Machel, widow of Mandela, on the last day of their tour of Africa in 2019. Harry also met Ms Machel when he visited South Africa in 2015.
And in 2018, Harry and Meghan met Mandela’s granddaughter Zamaswazi Dlamini-Mandela during a visit to the Nelson Mandela centenary exhibition at the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall in London.
Charles and Diana were also close with Mandela. The late Princess of Wales met him in Cape Town in March 1997, while she was in South Africa visiting her brother Earl Spencer.
And Charles took Mandela to Brixton in South London when he visited Britain in July 1996.
In addition, Mandela visited Diana’s ancestral home at Althorp in Northamptonshire in November 2002 to see where she was buried.
The Duchess of Sussex, 41, shared the new anecdote in another bombshell interview with a US magazine yesterday – but people have claimed that it was not their experience of what happened on May 19, 2018.
After her claim the hashtag #VoetsekMeghan began trending in South Africa. Voetsek is an Afrikaans word meaning ‘go away’ or ‘get lost’ and is a common slur used by millions in the country.
An angry Twitter user said: ‘No one was rejoicing in the streets of South Africa when she got married. For her to imply that it was the same as when President Mandela was released is the utmost disrespect’.
Another South African claimed: ‘From South Africa, I can promise you 1 thing, nobody but nobody celebrated in the street as with when Mandela was released over a foreign state wedding, yes we watched at home happy for the couple, that was that’.
One critic said: ‘Comparing your marriage to Nelson Mandela being released? What a pompous & arrogant thing to say’. Another said: ‘Her arrogant and yet delusional comparison of herself to Mandela is yet another insult to South Africa’.
Meghan managed to get up South African’s noses after her first Archetypes Spotify podcast where she described the mansion where she stayed on a royal tour with Harry and Archie as a ‘housing unit’.
One South African commentator, Howard Feldman, wrote yesterday: ‘Sorry Meghan only South Africans are allowed to speak ill about the country. Meghan should have stayed out of it’.
In July Prince Harry used his keynote speech at the UN General Assembly for Nelson Mandela Day, in New York City, to again wade into US politics as he blasted the ‘rolling back of constitutional rights’.
The Duke of Sussex launched a thinly-veiled attack on the Supreme Court’s Roe v Wade ruling last month that handed abortion rights back to individual states.
The 37-year-old claimed it was part of a ‘global assault on democracy and freedom’ as he also cited Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine among problems facing the world.
South Africans have already hit out at Meghan Markle after she told of an apparent fire that broke out in her son Archie’s room while she was on a tour of the country.
Archie, then four months old, was not in the room in Cape Town when a heater started to smoke – but the incident left the Duchess of Sussex ‘shaken’ and ‘in tears’, she told tennis star Serena Williams in her new podcast.
Others are understood to recall the incident which took place on September 23, 2019 – and while they do not remember there actually being a fire, the heater was certainly smoking and was unplugged and dealt with.
Despite the upset, Meghan said in the Spotify podcast that she was obliged to continue with official engagements, accusing those running the tour of concentrating on ‘how it looks, instead of how it feels’.
However, South Africans have not taken too kindly to her claims on social media, to the point where ‘#VoetsekMeghan’ – an offensive term meaning ‘go away’ – was trending on Twitter.
Harry and Meghan at the United Nations celebration of Nelson Mandela International Day in New York City on July 18, 2022
The Duchess of Sussex meets Nelson Mandela’s granddaughter Zamaswazi Dlamini-Mandela during her visit to the Nelson Mandela centenary exhibition at the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall in London on July 17, 2018
Prince Harry visits the Nelson Mandela Foundation and meets Graca Machel in South Africa on December 3, 2015
South African president Nelson Mandela (centre), Earl Spencer (right) and an aide walk across a pontoon from the island where Diana, Princess of Wales, is buried at her ancestral home at Althorp in Northamptonshire, on November 1, 2002
Prince Charles and Nelson Mandela with the Spice Girls at Mandela’s residence in South Africa on November 1, 1997
One wrote: ‘South Africa… You’re amazing – the #VoetsekMeghan tag is brilliant. She’s single handedly offending the world country by country! Shame really when most of her fanbase is in SA…oopsie!’
Another said: ‘I don’t care about the fire incident but the statement: coming to South Africa was the bravest thing she has done. Speaks volumes. As if she was coming to some apocalypse state or something. She should elaborate on what was brave about it, is it because is in Africa? #VoetsekMeghan’
A third added: ‘So after the supposed fire , Meghan could have taken Archie to their engagements in South Africa. Catherine did it in Australia and New Zealand without issue. Why could she not? You know why? Because then it would no longer be just about her! #VoetsekMeghan’.
Sources have defended the Duchess over the incident, saying it would have understandably caused concern to any parent. The Sussexes were subsequently moved to different accommodation as the tour continued.
This is how the South African newspaper Sunday Times covered Harry and Meghan’s wedding in its edition on May 20, 2018
This is how the South African newspaper Cape Times covered Harry and Meghan’s wedding in its edition on May 21, 2018
This is how the South African newspaper The Citizen covered Harry and Meghan’s wedding in its edition on May 21, 2018
Meghan, holding son Archie alongside husband Harry at the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation in Cape Town, South Africa in 2019
There would undoubtedly have been an expectation for Harry and Meghan to go on with their engagements after months of planning on the ground – but as senior royals, the couple would have had the final say on continuing.
And one source told the Daily Telegraph that any announcement about Archie being at risk of fire – or having to cancel an event where they spoke to people about Apartheid – would have overshadowed the couple’s work.
Later that same day following the incident, the couple visited Cape Town’s historic District Six neighbourhood, met residents in its Homecoming Centre and heard from people who were forcibly removed to a township during the Apartheid era, with the Sussexes also carrying out an impromptu walkabout.
District Six is a former inner-city residential area in Cape Town where freed slaves, artisans, immigrants, merchants and the Cape Malay community lived – but in 1966 the government declared it a ‘whites-only area’, and more than 60,000 residents were forcibly removed and relocated to the Cape Flats township about 15 miles away.
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