Nelson Mandela’s grandson is alleged to have issued a response to a widely circulated excerpt from this week’s Meghan Markle cover story with The Cut, namely a mention of the anti-apartheid activist’s release from prison after serving nearly three decades.
The Duchess of Sussex, in a cover story piece by Allison P. Davis with photos by Campbell Andy, is quoted as having been told by a Lion King cast member from South Africa in 2019 that her marriage into the British Royal Family spurred a celebration on par with that of Mandela’s freedom.
“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 we did when Mandela was freed from prison,’” Meghan said. The piece then immediately notes that Meghan “knows she’s no Mandela,” and it’s (of course) clear that the comparison itself is said to have been made by someone else, i.e. not Meghan herself.
But the comments have indeed been reported to have been met with pushback, including in the form of a response published by British tabloid The Daily Mail. The tabloid’s publisher, notably, was the subject of a libel lawsuit from Prince Harry earlier this year.
“Nelson Mandela’s release from jail was the culmination of nearly 350 years of struggle in which generations of our people paid with their lives,” Zwelivelile “Mandla” Mandela, Nelson Mandel’s grandson, is alleged to have said. “It can never be compared to the celebration of someone’s wedding.”
Elsewhere, Mandla is alleged to have spoken on the continued prevalence of “people who want to be Nelson Mandela,” cautioning that such ambitions should be coupled with attention on specific issues.
Meghan and Harry, who now have two children together, were married in 2018. In April of this year, they visited Queen Elizabeth II, marking the first such visit since they were revealed in 2020 to be stepping back from their Royal Family roles.