Prince Harry’s US constitution comments slammed by McCain
The Duke of Sussex spoke at the United Nations on Monday to mark Nelson Mandela International Day in honor of the late leader of South Africa. Harry delivered a speech which made reference to what he called the reversal of constitutional rights in the United States and the “weaponizing” of lies and disinformation.
Harry said: “This has been a painful year in a painful decade. We’re living through a pandemic that continues to ravage communities in every corner of the globe; climate change wreaking havoc on our planet, with the most vulnerable suffering most of all the few, weaponizing lies and disinformation at the expense of the many, and from the horrific war in Ukraine to the rolling back of constitutional rights here in the United States.
“We are witnessing a global assault on democracy and freedom – the cause of Mandela’s life.”
His remarks sparked a backlash among critics with one op-ed in Spiked describing him as a “dimwitted duke” for “sticking his ear into the debate over abortion rights in the US.
Harry’s comment about rights has been seen as a thinly veiled swipe at the US Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn Roe v Wade, which was a landmark decision conferring the right to have an abortion.
Prince Harry has been branded ‘dim-witted’ after his UN speech
Meghan and Harry listen to speakers at the UN General Assembly
Writer Charlie Peters, in the Spiked op-ed, said: “Prince Harry’s speech was full to the brim with many other unwanted and ignorant ‘insights’.
“Take for example his contention that constitutional rights are being rolled back in the US. As Amber Athey explains in Spectator World, Harry clearly misunderstands what the Supreme Court’s Roe ruling actually involved.
“Whatever we may think of the court’s decision and its implications, it did not ‘roll back’ a constitutional right as such – it ruled there was never a constitutional right to abortion in the first place.
“The judges argued a woman’s decision to have an abortion was not covered by the constitutional ‘right to privacy’, as Roe had previously held.”
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The Duke of Sussex speaks at the United Nations General Assembly
Harry and Meghan arrive at the United Nations Headquarters
He concluded: “Perhaps when Harry is done delivering these sixth-former activist speeches, he could take the time to actually learn something about America and the wider world, rather than just regurgitating high-status opinions. I won’t hold my breath. “
Harry also spoke about his mother Diana, the Princess of Wales, meeting with the former South African leader in March 1997 and how he “sought solace” in Africa after her death.
Speaking about Diana, Harry said: “On my wall, and in my heart every day, is an image of my mother and Mandela meeting in Cape Town in 1997.
“The photo was presented to me by the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu, whose friendship and inspiration were their own treasured gift. My wife and I had the honor of introducing our four-month-old son to him back in 2019.
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“When I first looked at the photo, straightaway what jumped out was the joy on my mother’s face – the playfulness, cheekiness, even… pure delight to be in communion with another soul so committed to serving humanity.
“Then I looked at Mandela. Here was a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders, asked to heal his country from the wreckage of its past and transform it for the future.
“A man who had endured the very worst of humanity – vicious racism and state-sponsored brutality. A man who had lost 27 years with his children and family that he would never get back.”
Harry, who was joined at the United Nation’s headquarters in New York by his wife Meghan Markle, said he has “always found hope” in Africa, a continent where he “found peace and healing.”
Princess Diana met President Nelson Mandela in March 1997 while on a visit to Cape Town
He added: “It’s where I’ve felt closest to my mother and sought solace after she died, and where I knew I had found a soulmate in my wife.”
Harry also warned of the impact of climate change on Africa and the world during his speech.
He said: “This crisis will only grow worse, unless our leaders lead, unless the countries represented by the seats in this hallowed hall make the decisions – the daring, transformative decisions – our world needs to save humanity.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex moved to North America two years ago to lead a more independent life after stepping back from royal duties.
They live in California with their children Archie and Lilibet.
Harry’s speech at the UN was his first public appearance since he and Meghan attended a thanksgiving service at St Paul’s Cathedral in June for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.