Nelson Mandela’s granddaughter, the activist Ndileka Mandela, has expressed solidarity with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, comparing their plight to the early life of her grandfather, the global civil rights icon.
Ndileka’s comments came after a new book named Kate and Charles as the two senior royals accused of making comments and asking questions about what color skin any babies of Meghan and Harry would have before they were born.
Speaking to the BBC on the Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg program, Ndileka Mandela, who is a delegate at the COP28 climate conference, was asked whether she thought Harry and Meghan had been the victims of racism. In reply, she drew a comparison with her grandfather’s decision to flee to Johannesburg in 1941 to evade an arranged marriage.
She said: “I believe that Harry and Meghan had to find their own voice, in a similar way that granddad had to find his own voice when he had to run away from an arranged marriage. So they should be given, like any other person, room to voice out whatever their misgivings are.
“I cannot speak to whether Harry and Meghan’s children have been discriminated against. I don’t have first-hand information of that.
“However, I can say that [Harry] should be allowed to voice out whatever it is that he wants to voice out, and to choose his own path. Had granddad not chosen his own path when he ran away from an arranged marriage, we would not have the South Africa that we talk about today.
“So people should be allowed to present different journeys and should be allowed to walk different journeys in life.”
Ndileka’s comments came just hours before it was revealed that the names of Kate and Charles were accidentally published in the Dutch edition of Omid Scobie’s book Endgame after an early version of the manuscript was sent to the translators by his agents, and in error this was used as a final version.
Ndileka was also asked about the concept of royals paying reparations to former colonial countries, an issue that was in the headlines last month after King Charles visited Kenya, where hundreds of thousands of people were kicked off their land by colonial British forces and many thousands killed by British and British-allied forces in the 1952-1960 Mau Mau rebellion.
She replied, according to reports on Yahoo! and breakingnews.ie: “I think it starts with [an] acknowledgment of what was done to countries that were colonised…we are still suffering a great deal from colonisation, as far as our culture, as black people, is concerned.”
Asked if she would like the British royal family to make such a gesture, Ndileka replied: “Yes I would. That is where healing begins…If you sit around the table and admit your part, both parties admit their part in the dissolution of whatever it is that happened, it is then that healing begins. If that happens then the healing will definitely begin.”
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