Over two years after stepping down as senior members of the royal family, Prince Harry, 38, and his wife, Meghan Markle, 41, were awarded with the Ripple of Hope Award on Dec. 6. The Duchess of Sussex looked stunning in an off-the-shoulder white dress with long sleeve details, which she paired with Princess Diana’s unique aquamarine ring. The raven haired beauty kept her hair in a chic bun as she and Harry were recognized for their advocacy work via their own Archewell Foundation, which focuses on social issues like mental health and racial justice.
“This award is such a huge honor for them and just so, so meaningful because there’s nothing, aside from their kids, that they’re more passionate about [than their humanitarian work],” a source told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY.
“They’re both incredibly driven to make a positive change in this world, it’s what really connected them the very first time they met, and a big reason they fell so in love with each other. So, to have that acknowledged, and to be in such prestigious company with this award, means the world to them.”
The award is presented by the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial, and was first created in 1984. RFK’s daughter, Kerry Kennedy, 63, opened up to El Confidencial‘s Vanitatis magazine about why the royals were being presented the award on Tuesday. “When my father went to South Africa in 1966, he spoke in front of a white audience and said that the problem in this generation is talking about racial justice. He also spoke of moral courage, saying that few would have the courage to question their colleagues, family and their community about the power structure they maintained,” she told the outlet, per a translation, via PEOPLE. “And this is what Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have done.”
Kerry also discussed how Meghan and her husband went up against the royal family in condemning “structural racism” in the monarchy. “They went to the oldest institution in U.K. 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 added. “They knew that if they did this there would be consequences, that they would be ostracized, they would lose their family, their position within this structure, 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. I think they have been heroic in taking this step.”
In Oct. of this year, the royal couple was officially announced as the recipients of the humanitarian award for their work in “racial justice, mental health and other social impact action.” Both Harry and Meghan founded their non-profit organization, Archewell Foundation, in Oct. 2020. Although the organization was registered in the state of Delaware, it is run out of Beverly Hills, CA.
When the power couple first began to roll out their charity in 2020, the organization’s website featured a message form the Duchess of Sussex herself. “I am my mother’s son. And I am our son’s mother. Together we bring you Archewell. We believe in the best of humanity. Because we have seen the best of humanity. We have experienced compassion and kindness, from our mothers and strangers alike,” the message read, per US Weekly. “In the face of fear, struggle and pain, it can be easy to lose sight of this. Together, we can choose courage, healing, and connection. Together, we can choose to put compassion in action. We invite you to join us. As we work to build a better world, one act of compassion at a time.”
The duchess and Harry got married on May 19, 2018, and together they have two kids: Archie, 3, and Lilibet, 1. These days, Meghan spends much of her time working on her podcast Archetypes, where she often has deep conversations with other celebrities and people impacting change in the world. On Nov. 22, she even had poet Amanda Gorman, 24, read a special poem on the episode titled “Beyond the Archetype: Human Being.”
And for the final episode of Archetypes, Meghan gushed about how her hubby helped inspire her. During the episode, the mom-of-two said that, thus far, the podcast has featured “exclusively women’s voices” on purpose, but Harry felt adding some men to the mix would help her goal. “If we really want to shift how we think about gender and the limiting labels that we separate people into, then we have to broaden the conversation… and we have to actively include men in that conversation and certainly in that effort,” she said.