Meghan Markle was once questioned, receiving a huge backlash, when she claimed a South African actor told him the South Africans celebrated her marriage with Prince Harry like that of Nelson Mandela's release from prison.
In an interview with The Cut in 2022, Meghan revealed that a South African actor from the live-action movie Lion King told her that her marriage with the royal family "sparked scenes of joy" in South Africa, just like how they felt happy when the anti-apartheid campaigner Mandela was released from prison in 1990. But as some saw it as a comparison between the two, many didn't like it.
The Controversial Interview
The story's writer Allison P. Davis noticed the Duchess of Sussex recognized what her marriage to the Duke of Sussex meant to the black Brits, though she admitted she didn't read the news about her.
She then told her experience at the London premiere of Lion King in 2019, when a South African cast member told her the controversial remark.
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"When you married into this family [the British royal family], we rejoiced in the streets the same we did when Mandela was freed from prison," the unknown actor said, per SCMP.
Davis continued that Meghan knew she was no Mandela but couldn't help but wonder why she would say it, thinking it was a form of defense against her bashers.
"I find myself worrying that the words I write about her will be misinterpreted and dissected – rudely, maliciously – too," he said.
Lion King South African Actors React to Meghan Markle's Claim
Daily Express reported, via The News, that a man claiming to be the only South African cast member of the film argued that he had never met Meghan.
However, aside from the actors, the movie also had other South African staff and crew who might have attended the premiere.
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But the South African singer Lindiwe Mkhize, who sang the film's official soundtrack, "Circle of Life," also said he had never met the former actress.
"This seems like something of a faux pas by her," she said. "I have I have never met the Duchess at all. I am the only South African member of the cast, and I did not attend the premiere in London."
Nelson Mandela's Grandchild React to Meghan Markle's Claim
Meanwhile, Mandla Mandela, Mandela's grandchild, reacted to Meghan's claim in an interview with News24, via SCMP.
"Every day there are people who want to be Nelson Mandela. Either comparing themselves with him or wanting to emulate him," he said.
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However, he advised that people should just get behind the causes his grandfather supported, adding there was no way his freedom could be compared to a wedding.
"The culmination of nearly 350 years of struggle in which generations of our people paid with their lives. It can never be compared to the celebration of someone's wedding," Mandla stressed.
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