Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Open Exhibit Honoring Nelson Mandela's Life

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have met with those closest to Nelson Mandela as they opened an exhibition honoring the anti-apartheid hero ahead of what would have been his 100th birthday.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle toured the retrospective at the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall in London Tuesday, one day before the centenary of Mandela’s birth.

The couple spoke with Mandela’s granddaughter, Zamaswazi Dlamini-Mandela, and with Andrew Mlangeni, who stood accused of sabotaging the then-apartheid government in 1938, Kensington Palace said. He spent 26 years in prison on Robben Island. 

They also met Paul and Adelaide Joseph, anti-apartheid activists and close friends of Mandela and his second wife, Winnie, authorities said. 

The pair watched a performance by the Ubunye Choir, comprised of people from the South African diaspora. It appeared Meghan was visibly moved by the performance, rubbing her arms and reportedly telling her husband the meaningful song had left her with goosebumps. 

They also toured the exhibit and took time to examine items on display, including the Robben Island Bible, which was actually a copy of Shakespeare plays disguised as the Bible. 

The Nelson Mandela Centenary Exhibition celebrates Mandela's life. It is jointly curated by the Apartheid Museum in South Africa, the British Anti-Apartheid Movement Archives and the Southbank Centre.

In 2015, Prince Harry visited the archives at the Nelson Mandela Foundation Centre of Memory in Johannesburg, South Africa. 

There he met with Mandela’s widow, Graça Machel, and spoke of the work being done at the Centre, saying: "These organizations, which include the Nelson Mandela Foundation, are empowering the next generation of engaged South African citizens."

Prince Harry and Markle’s visit came as former U.S. President Barack Obama delivered a speech in South Africa to honor Mandela, during which he reflected on "strange and uncertain times" in the world.

Such chaotic times have given Obama the opportunity to seek perspective, he told the crowd of about 15,000 people at the Wanderers Cricket Stadium in Johannesburg Tuesday.

"But in the strange and uncertain times that we are — and they are strange, and they are uncertain, with each day's news cycles bringing more head-spinning and disturbing headlines — I thought maybe it would be useful to step back for a moment and try to get some perspective, so I hope you'll indulge me," he said. 

Obama, who has referred to Mandela as a mentor, made the 16th annual Nelson Mandela Lecture on Tuesday, titled, “Renewing the Mandela Legacy and Promoting Active Citizenship in a Changing World."

“It is a plain fact that racial discrimination still exists in both the United States and South Africa," Obama said. 

Mandela, who died in 2013 at 95, helped South Africa do away with a white minority rule and break racial segregation.


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