Mandela's grandson slaps down Meghan Markle's comparison of her wedding to South African leader's release from jail

31 August 2022, 05:52 | Updated: 31 August 2022, 05:56

A grandson of Nelson Mandela has criticised Meghan Markle's comparison of her wedding to his release from jail
A grandson of Nelson Mandela has criticised Meghan Markle's comparison of her wedding to his release from jail. Picture: Getty

By Will Taylor

The grandson of Nelson Mandela has slapped down Meghan Markle's suggestion that her wedding to Prince Harry was celebrated in a similar way to the South African hero's release from prison.

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The Duchess of Sussex told The Cut magazine that she had been told there were similar scenes of jubilation in the country to Mr Mandela being let out of jail in 1990, which came with the collapse of apartheid and led to him becoming president.

The Duchess said parallels between events that peacefully transformed a country built on racial division and her marriage to Prince Harry were made at the 2019 London premiere of The Lion King by a South African member of the cast.

"He looked at me, and he's just like light. He said, 'I just need you to know: when you married into this family, we rejoiced in the streets the same way we did when Mandela was freed from prison'," she told The Cut.

Read more: World leaders hail Mikhail Gorbachev's 'courage and integrity' after death aged 91

But Zwelivelile Mandela told MailOnline: "My advice to everyone is to live the life Nelson Mandela lived and support the causes he supported.

"That is the ultimate litmus test. What is the value of people dancing in the street and chanting President Nelson Mandela's name when what they stand for is diametrically opposed to what he stood for?

Meghan's comments have been sharply criticised
Meghan's comments have been sharply criticised. Picture: Getty

"Madiba’s [Mr Mandela's] celebration was based on overcoming 350 years of colonialism with 60 years of a brutal apartheid regime in South Africa. So it cannot be equated to the same."

The African National Congress MP, who is also chief of Mr Mandela's Mvezo traditional council, said the release of his grandfather was more important than her marriage to "a white prince".

The Duchess of Sussex's remarks have drawn criticism and ridicule.

They were published under the headline "Meghan of Montecito" this week.

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