Meghan Markle, 40, received the sweetest shoutout from Prince Harry, 37, during his United Nations speech on July 18, Nelson Mandela Day. The former senior members of the British royal family made an appearance in New York City so Prince Harry could give a speech, during which he stressed how important the continent of Africa is to him for various reasons, including being the place that showed him that he found the love of his life. “For most of my life, it has been my lifeline, a place where I found peace and healing time and time again. It’s where I felt closest to my mother and sought solace after she died, and where I knew I had found a soulmate in my wife,” he gushed, per People.
He then recalled how his 2016 trip to Africa with the former Suits actress came to be. “I managed to persuade her to come and join me in Botswana,” he recalled. “We camped out with each other under the stars. She came and joined me for five days out there, which was absolutely fantastic. So then we were really by ourselves, which was crucial to me to make sure that we had a chance to know each other.”
Harry then changed the subject to his late mother, Princess Diana, who brought him to Africa for the first time when he was 13 years old and helped kickstart his passion for the continent. He remembered a photo of Princess Diana and Nelson that was taken in 1997 and then given to him by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. “When I first looked at the photo, straight away what jumped out is the joy on my mother’s face. The playfulness — cheekiness, even,” he said. “The pure delight to be in communion with another soul so committed to serving humanity.” The Duke of Sussex then praised the first South African president. “[He was] still able to see the goodness in humanity, still buoyant with a beautiful spirit that lifted everyone around him. Not because he was blind to the ugliness, the injustices of the world — no. He saw them clearly. He had lived them. But because he knew we could overcome them,” he recalled.
Africa links Harry, Meghan, and Princess Diana beautifully, but it’s far from the only way two of the most important women in Prince Harry’s life are connected. Harry and Meghan have seemingly always worked Princess Diana into their lives. During their wedding, Meghan’s bouquet included Diana’s favorite flower, forget-me-nots, and they played her favorite hymn, “Guide Me, O Thy Great Redeemer,” during their ceremony, according to Harper’s Bazaar.
Meghan also regularly pays homage to her late mother-in-law in subtle ways during her day-to-day commitments. For instance, when Prince Harry accepted the President’s Award from the NAACP in March, Meghan wore a dress that resembled one Princess Diana wore on a state visit to Thailand in 1988, per Newsweek. The following month in April, Meghan wore a Cartier watch at the Invictus Games that is believed to have belonged to Diana, per Mirror. How sweet!