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Duke and Duchess of Sussex to accept Ripple of Hope award in New York

Duke and Duchess of Sussex to accept Ripple of Hope award in New York (Evan Agostini/AP)
Duke and Duchess of Sussex to accept Ripple of Hope award in New York (Evan Agostini/AP)

Crowds of people gathered in the rain to watch the Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrive at a gala in New York where they are due to be honoured for their racial justice and mental health work.

Harry and Meghan are to be recognised alongside other honourees including Ukrainian president Volodymr Zelensky by the Robert F Kennedy Human Rights (RFKHR) organisation.

Members of the public took pictures and videos of the couple as they arrived at the New York Hilton Midtown hotel on Tuesday.

Meghan wore a white, long-sleeved Louis Vuitton gown complete with a front slit and off-the-shoulder neckline, and the couple smiled at the crowds before posing on the event’s blue carpet.

They are due to be presented with the Ripple of Hope Award, which honours exemplary leaders across government, business, advocacy, and entertainment.

According to the RFKHR, honourees are those who have demonstrated “an unwavering commitment to social change and worked to protect and advance equity, justice, and human rights”.

2022 Ripple of Hope Awards Gala
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, from left, Prince Harry and Kerry Kennedy attend the Robert F Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Awards Gala (Evan Agostini/AP)

The 2022 ceremony is to be hosted by Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin.

It comes just hours before the launch of the couple’s tell-all Netflix show, which is due to begin streaming on Thursday.

The royal family is bracing itself for bombshell revelations, with Harry speaking of a “hierarchy in the family”, a “dirty game”, and warning “we know the full truth”.

RFKHR president Kerry Kennedy said  the Sussexes had been “incredibly brave” in addressing the issues of racial justice and mental illness.

2022 Ripple of Hope Awards Gala
Kerry Kennedy, president of the RFKHR, said Meghan had ‘normalised’ discussion about mental health (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Ms Kennedy, who is the daughter of Robert F Kennedy, said she was “proud” to be honouring them at the gala.

“They’ve stood up, they’ve talked about racial justice and they’ve talked about mental illness in a way that was incredibly brave,” she told US outlet Extra on the event’s blue carpet.

“In this world in the wake of Covid there has been a massive spike…people around the globe have said they have anxiety and massive depression.

“For Meghan to get out there on national television and normalise discussion of mental health, at this point, is incredibly important and very brave.

2022 Ripple of Hope Awards Gala
The 2022 ceremony is to be hosted by Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin (Evan Agostini/AP)

“So I’m very proud.”

As well as Harry and Meghan, those due to be recognised at the RFKHR event  include Frank Baker, co-founder and managing partner of Siris, Brian Moynihan, chair of the board and chief executive of Bank of America, and Michael Polsky, founder and chief executive of Invenergy.

The ceremony will also recognise NBA legend and civil rights icon Bill Russell with a posthumous award.