Nelson Mandela’s granddaughter has accused Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, of “using” her grandfather’s legacy for profit with their Netflix documentary series. Live to Leadwhich she called “deeply upsetting and tedious.”
However, Mandela’s oldest grandchild, writer and social activist Ndileka Mandela, told the Australian she was unhappy with Harry and Meghan for name-dropping her grandfather for the project, saying people have “used his legacy because they know his name sells—Harry and Meghan are no different from them.”
Ndileka Mandela said Harry and Meghan are “using” her grandfather’s quotes to “draw in people and make millions,” with no benefit redounding to the Mandela family.
She said she admires Harry for “having the confidence to break away” from the royal family, comparing it to her grandfather rebelling against an arranged marriage that had been set up for him.
However, she said Harry’s decision “comes at a price” and added that the prince “needs to be authentic and stick to his own story.” . . . What relevance does grandad’s life have with his?”
“I’ve made peace with people using grandad’s name, but it’s still deeply upsetting and tedious every time it happens,” Ndileka Mandela said.
Ndileka Mandela also criticized Meghan for comments she made during an interview earlier this year drawing comparisons between celebrations for her 2018 wedding and Nelson Mandela’s release from jail. In an interview published in the Cut in August, Meghan said a South African cast member of the The Lion King‘s London production told her at the show’s 2019 premiere that South Africans “rejoiced in the streets” for her wedding to Harry, “the same we did when Mandela was freed from prison.” Ndileka Mandela said her grandfather’s release from prison was “the culmination of nearly 350 years of struggle in which generations of our people paid with their lives.” . . . That’s chalk and cheese—there is no comparison.”
Live to Lead, which premiered on Netflix last month, was inspired by Mandela, according to Harry. In a 2015 speech at the Nelson Mandela Center of Memory in Johannesburg, South Africa, Harry said he met Mandela before the leader died in 2013, a memory Harry said he has “treasured” ever since. Earlier this year, Harry said he keeps a photograph of his mother, Princess Diana, and Mandela from their meeting in 1990 framed on a wall in his home. The Live to Lead documentary series features interviews with influential figures like climate change activist Greta Thunberg, feminist activist and journalist Gloria Steinem, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It’s the second project with Netflix for Harry and Meghan, whose exclusive deal with the streamer is estimated to be worth millions. Their first Netflix project, the series Harry & Meghan, caused controversy when it premiered last month but was the streamer’s largest documentary premiere ever. The two Netflix projects are part of a larger media blitz by the Sussexes, with Harry’s memoir, Spare, coming out next week. The projects have been controversial with Harry and Meghan commenting on Harry’s royal relatives and have reportedly caused tension between the couple and the Windsors. In interview clips released this week, Harry said his family “has shown absolutely no willingness to reconcile.”
‘I Want A Family, Not An Institution’: Here’s What Prince Harry Is Saying Ahead Of His Controversial Memoir ReleaseForbes)
Prince Harry Defends Netflix Doc And Media Appearances: ‘Silence Is Betrayal’ (Forbes)