KEY POINTS

  • Prince Harry sported a black velvet tuxedo at the 2021 British GQ Men of the Year Awards
  • Meghan Markle's husband presented the GQ Heroes of the Year award to the Oxford scientists who developed AstraZeneca
  • The Duke of Sussex blamed misinformation across news media and social media for widespread skepticism over the vaccine

Prince Harry looked dapper in his tuxedo during his virtual appearance at the 2021 British GQ Men of Year Awards.

The Duke of Sussex, 36, made a surprise appearance at the event that took place in London Wednesday. Prince Harry presented the GQ Heroes of the Year award to the Oxford scientists — Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert, Dr. Catherine Green, and the entire team at Oxford — who developed the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

Meghan Markle's husband sported a black velvet tuxedo. The royal prince appeared live from his home in California.

"I'm deeply honored to be introducing our final awardees, who you'll immediately recognize for their landmark contribution to the fight against COVID-19," Harry said in his speech as per People. "Their breakthrough research on the Oxford Vaccine has brought the world one of our greatest tools for achieving vaccine equity."

"Until every community can access the vaccine, and until every community is connected to trustworthy information about the vaccine, then we are all at risk. That's a common refrain my wife and I have heard in convenings with vaccine experts, heads of industry, community advocates, and global leaders," he added.

The duke also called out the widespread skepticism over the vaccine. He blamed it to the "mass-scale misinformation across news media and social media" for peddling lies and fears that caused vaccine hesitancy, divided the people and destroyed trust.

"This is a system we need to break if we are to overcome COVID-19 and the rise of new variants," he added. "The Oxford team have done their part. They are heroes of the highest order who gave us an instrument to fight this disease. They are our nation's pride, and we are deeply indebted to their service."

Meanwhile, Prince Harry's appearance at the event received mixed responses from the netizens. One said it was funny that GQ invited the Duke of Sussex when it could have invited Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles or Prince William. However, the organizers opted to invite Prince Harry who is in a different continent and time zone.

A different netizen said she was "laughing so much" because the Sussex Squad called Prince Harry's appearance "work" while Prince William visited several companies and represented millions of employees to support every Earthshot winner.

Meanwhile, several were also happy that he was part of the event. "Our Prince of Hearts," one commented. Another complimented his appearance saying, "Harry is looking good."

Prince Harry LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 01: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex appears via video link at the 24th GQ Men of the Year Awards in association with BOSS at Tate Modern on September 1, 2021 in London, England. Photo: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Hugo Boss UK