Desmond Tutu has passed away at the age of 90. He passed away in South Africa on Sunday, at a care center. The New York Times said Archbishop Tutu had been battling cancer for some time. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his anti-apartheid work, and his work with reconciliation and rebuilding South Africa into a Black-majority-led nation. Archbishop Tutu became a humanitarian icon and many people would make the pilgrimage to South Africa to meet both him and Nelson Mandela.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were two of those people, although Prince Harry met Archbishop Tutu several times solo, before Harry even met Meghan. The Sussexes’ trip to South Africa in the fall of 2019 was the first “public event” for then-baby Archie. Archie was more delighted with the cakes on display than with meeting Archbishop Tutu, but it was still completely adorable. Soon after Tutu’s passing had been announced, Meghan and Harry released a statement:
In their statement, Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan lauded his life’s work and reflected on their son Archie’s 2019 meeting with Tutu and his daughter Thandeka in Cape Town.
“Archbishop Tutu will be remembered for his optimism, his moral clarity, and his joyful spirit. He was an icon for racial justice and beloved across the world. It was only two years ago that he held our son, Archie, while we were in South Africa – ‘Arch and The Arch’ he had joked, his infectious laughter ringing through the room, relaxing anyone in his presence. He remained a friend and will be sorely missed by all.”
[From Harper’s Bazaar]
It’s sweet. On a political level, the Sussexes’ statement stands shoulder-to-shoulder with statements made by Queen Elizabeth, Barack Obama, President Biden and Princess Charlene. Which makes perfect sense.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.