Pricne Harry and Meghan Markle
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 23: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex visit One World Observatory at One World Observatory on September 23, 2021 in New York City. Roy Rochlin/Getty Images


  • Kerry Kennedy said the couple took a "heroic stand" against "structural racism" within the monarchy
  • She said Harry and Meghan's "moral courage" was why they are among the 2022 recipients of the Ripple of Hope award
  • The Ripple of Hope Award was previously given to Joe Biden, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton

Kerry Kennedy, the president of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, revealed that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's "moral courage" was what earned them a prestigious human rights award.

In October, the nonprofit organization, which gives out an array of awards to individuals "for their transformative work in the pursuit of a more just and peaceful world," announced that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will receive the Ripple of Hope award in December alongside Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and NBA great Bill Russell.

Kerry, who is the daughter of Robert F. Kennedy and niece of John F. Kennedy, explained to El Confidencial's Vanitatis magazine that Prince Harry and Markle were chosen for challenging the royal family's "power structure" and taking a "heroic stand" against "structural racism within the institution" of the monarchy.

"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 community about the power structure they maintained, and this is what Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have done." the 63-year-old human rights lawyer told the outlet in an interview released Wednesday.

"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 continued, before adding that the couple continued to take a stand despite the possibility of being "ostracized" and "losing their family" and position within the monarchy.

"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," Kerry concluded.

Despite Prince Harry and Markle's humanitarian efforts through their non-profit organization Archewell Foundation, the decision to give them the prestigious award was questioned by some cultural and social experts, including professor David Nasaw, who called it "absurd," according to the Independent.

"I find it somewhere between sublimely ridiculous and blatantly ludicrous. It's absurd," the author of "The Patriarch" said, comparing the couple to the likes of past recipients Bill and Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and Bishop Desmond Tutu.

The Ripple of Hope Award is given to "exemplary leaders" worldwide who have contributed to upholding human rights in their home country. The annual award has previously gone to President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama.

Prince Harry, Markle, Zelensky, Siris co-founder Frank Baker, Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan and Invenergy CEO Michael Polsky will be honored during a prestigious gala ceremony to be held in New York on Dec. 6, emceed by Alec Baldwin.

The Sussexes are expected to make an appearance at the event, and spots at their table are reportedly priced at up to $1 million.

Kerry Kennedy
President, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Kerry Kennedy presents an award on stage during the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Hosts 2019 Ripple Of Hope Gala & Auction In NYC on December 12, 2019 in New York City. Mike Pont/Getty Images for Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights