Prince Harry received a standing ovation after delivering a passionate speech at the star-studded Vax Live: The Concert To Reunite The World.
It was the Duke of Sussex’s first public speaking engagement since his late grandfather Prince Philip’s funeral and since he and wife Meghan Markle – who was not present at the concert – conducted their March interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Harry, who was joined onstage by pop royalty including Jennifer Lopez, also expressed support for India during the country’s devastation caused by the Covid virus.
“Tonight is a celebration of every one of you here, the vaccinated frontline workers in the audience, and the millions of frontline heroes worldwide,” he said.
“Over the last year, you’ve fought valiantly and selflessly to defend us all. You served and made sacrifices, placed yourself in danger, and acted bravely despite the risks. We are indebted to you in the most incredible way. Greetings.
“We express our solidarity with the millions of families afflicted by a second wave of devastation across India,” he added.
Harry returned to the stage for the second time, this time speaking about a cause close to his heart: online misinformation.
“Whether or not we are online, we are all connected in today’s world like a vast nervous system. And, similar to the virus, there are no borders on the Internet,” he explained.
“As a result, when vaccine misinformation and disinformation spread, amplified on social media and in some segments of traditional media, it exposes a collective threat to humanity. I believe that misinformation has created a global humanitarian crisis, which is deteriorating.”
Harry co-chaired the event – which urged world leaders to take action by emphasising the importance of vaccine equity – with wife Meghan Markle, who skipped the two-plus-hour drive from Montecito due to her (very) early pregnancy with their second child.
It will air on US television and YouTube on May 8, following a pre-taped performance in front of thousands of fully vaccinated spectators at a large California stadium on Sunday.
Additionally, the event featured video messages from Pope Francis and Vice President Joe Biden, as well as in-person appearances by Hollywood celebrities including Ben Affleck and Sean Penn.
Selena Gomez hosted the concert at Inglewood’s SoFi Stadium, which was one of the largest in-person gatherings since March 2020. Jennifer Lopez, Foo Fighters, J. Balvin, and H.E.R. also performed.
A glittering J-Lo informed fans that she had spent Christmas without her mother for the first time in her life due to the pandemic — before escorting the Lopez matriarch onto an elaborate meadow-themed stage for a feel-good singalong of “Sweet Caroline.”
For a rendition of “Back in Black,” the Foo Fighters were joined by special guest Brian Johnson of AC/DC.
“We’re not out of the woods yet… let’s work as hard as we can every night to insure we can do this,” frontman Dave Grohl stated.
- Prince Harry: Getty Images