The Duke of Sussex made his first public appearance since the funeral of his grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh, at a charity concert in Los Angeles to promote the equitable distribution of coronavirus vaccines worldwide.
Harry, appearing without the Duchess of Sussex, who is expecting their second child, praised the world’s frontline medical workers at the concert, which featured a host of famous names from the worlds of music, film and politics.
He pleaded for vaccines to be distributed to everyone, everywhere.
“Tonight is a celebration of each of you here, the vaccinated frontline workers in the audience and the millions of frontline heroes around the world,” he said.
“You spent the last year battling courageously and selflessly to protect us all. You served and sacrificed, put yourselves in harm’s way, and acted with bravery, knowing the costs. We owe you an incredible debt of gratitude. Thank you.”
It was Harry’s first public appearance in the US since his and Meghan’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey in March. He and Meghan are campaign chairs for the Vax Live event, which was hosted by Selena Gomez and featured musical performances from Jennifer Lopez, Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, Foo Fighters, J Balvin and HER.
The event raised £38.3m ($53.8m ) for Covax, which is working to provide vaccines for low- and middle-income countries. The US president, Joe Biden, and Pope Francis were among dignitaries to send messages of support.
Messages about vaccine equity were heard from guests including Ben Affleck, David Letterman, Gayle King, Jimmy Kimmel and Sean Penn.
President Biden said in a video address that the US was “working with leaders around the world to share more vaccines and boost production to make sure every country has the vaccines they need”.
The Global Citizen co-founder and CEO, Hugh Evans, said: “Global Citizen initially set out to secure enough funding from philanthropists, the private sector and governments, to purchase 10m vaccine doses as part of our campaign. Through the amazing work of our hosts, campaign chairs, and actions taken by global citizens, I am proud that tonight we have already surpassed our goal, securing enough funding for 10.3m doses.
“And the momentum is only just building. Additional commitments are rolling in and will be announced as part of our global broadcast on 8 May. Critically we need to see the US and the UK step up and start sharing additional doses, and we need pharmaceutical companies such as Moderna to urgently provide millions of doses to Covax to the poorest countries at non-profit prices.”