His thoughts are shared. Nelson Mandela‘s grandson Zwelivelile “Mandla” Mandela reacted after Meghan Markle compared her wedding to his grandfather’s release from prison.
“Madiba’s celebration was based on overcoming 350 years of colonialism with 60 years of a brutal apartheid regime in South Africa,” the politician, 48, told MailOnline on Tuesday, August 30, adding that he was “surprised” by the Suits alum’s comments. “So, it cannot be equated to as the same.”
In her recent interview for the cover of New York magazine’s The CutThe Duchess of Sussex, 41, shared a story on how a South African cast member was portrayed in the live-action version. The Lion KingShe told her how important her marriage was to her Prince Harrymeant to him and his countrymen.
“He looked at me, and he’s just, like, light,” the Bench author recalled. “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.’”
The author of the piece — published on Monday, August 29 — added: “Of course, [Meghan] knows she’s no Mandela, but perhaps even telling me this story is a mode of defense, because if you are a symbol for all that is good and charitable, how can anybody find you objectionable, how can anybody hate you?”
The former South African president served 27 years in prison for his opposition to the country’s apartheid system. His release was broadcast all over the world after he was released in 1990. He went on to serve as the nation’s first president from 1994 to 1999. The legendary leader died December 2013, at the age of 95.
Mandla, for his part, added that his grandfather’s release “can never be compared to the celebration of someone’s wedding,” noting that any celebrations happening in the streets in 1990 were for a more important reason than Meghan’s marriage “to a white prince.”
The African National Congress MP suggested to people who are comparing themselves with his grandfather that they take a closer glance at what he stood up for before assuming that they measure up. “Before people can regard themselves as Nelson Mandelas, they should be looking into the work that he did and be able to be champions and advocates of the work that he himself championed,” Mandla said to MailOnline. “He spoke for oppressed minorities, children and women and [protecting] the most vulnerable people in our society.”
Meghan’s interview has already made plenty of headlines, with the “Archetypes” host explaining that she didn’t want to play the “game” of royal life. The California native pointed to strict rules about releasing family photos as one example of what made life in “The Firm” so challenging.
“There’s literally a structure by which if you want to release photos of your child, as a member of the family, you first have to give them to the Royal Rota,” she explained,” referring to the U.K. press pool that covers the royal family. “Why would I give the very people that are calling my children the N-word a photo of my child before I can share it with the people that love my child? You tell me how that makes sense and then I’ll play that game.”