Harry and Meghan to receive prestigious award previously won by Barack Obama

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be presented with a very prestigious award

Harry and Meghan will receive an award previously won by the likes of Obama and Desmond Tutu
(Image credit: Toby Melville - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been chosen as the next recipients of Robert F. Kenney’s Ripple of Hope Award. The award has previously been given to the likes of President Barack Obama and Apple’s Tim Cook. Kerry Kennedy, president of the foundation, described the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as “heroic” for challenging the “structural racism within the [royal] institution.”

For nearly 50 years, the Robert F. Kennedy Ripple of Hope Award has honored exemplary leaders across government, business, advocacy, and entertainment who have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to social change.

It also honors those who have worked to protect and advance equity, justice, and human rights.

Previous winners of the Ripple of Hope Award include Barack Obama, Stacey Abrams, President Joe Biden, Bono, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former President Bill Clinton, George Clooney, Bishop Desmond Tutu, and Tim Cook.

This year, in a lavish ceremony hosted by Alec Baldwin, Prince Harry, and Meghan Markle will be the next recipients of the award.

Barack Obama was presented with the award in 2019

(Image credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights)

Kerry Kennedy, the ex-wife of former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and one of Robert F. Kennedy’s eleven children, explained to British newspaper The Telegraph why they’d been chosen for the honor.

“They went to the oldest institution in UK history and told them what they were doing wrong, that they couldn’t have structural racism within the institution; that they could not maintain a misunderstanding about mental health.”

She continued, “Few would have the courage to question their colleagues, family, and community about the power structure they maintained, and this is what Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have done.”

Kerry Kennedy is president of the Robert F Kennedy Human Rights foundation

(Image credit: BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP via Getty Images)

Kerry went on to claim that the Sussexes “knew that if they did this there would be consequences… and that people would blame them for it.”

“They have done it anyway because they believed they couldn’t live with themselves if they didn’t question this authority.”

Summing it up, she concluded, “I think they have been heroic in taking this step.”

While many would agree with the decision to give Harry and Meghan the award, some – including Professor David Nasaw, author of the Pulitzer Prize-nominated book The Patriarch, about JFK and RFK’s father Joseph Kennedy – have labeled the move “sublimely ridiculous and blatantly ludicrous.”

Not everyone is in agreement with Harry and Meghan winning the award

(Image credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

“If you look at the people who have been awarded the Robert Kennedy prize in the past – Bill and Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi [Speaker of the US House of Representatives], Bishop Desmond Tutu – and then you have to ask what are Harry and Meghan doing here?”

“What in God’s name have they done to merit this? What percentage of Harry and Meghan’s wealth is going to worthy causes?”

The Ripple of Hope Award Gala will take place in New York City on Tuesday, December 6, with other people being celebrated that night including President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and NBA legend and civil rights icon Bill Russell.

Tickets for the gala range from $2,500 to $1,000,000. 

Jack Slater
Freelance writer

Jack Slater is not the Last Action Hero, but that's what comes up first when you Google him. Preferring a much more sedentary life, Jack gets his thrills by covering news, entertainment, celebrity, film and culture for woman&home, and other digital publications.

Having written for various print and online publications—ranging from national syndicates to niche magazines—Jack has written about nearly everything there is to write about, covering LGBTQ+ news, celebrity features, TV and film scoops, reviewing the latest theatre shows lighting up London’s West End and the most pressing of SEO based stories.