Royals Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Arrive Hand-in-Hand at the UN for Nelson Mandela Day Prince Harry gave a speech at the United Nations in New York City, just like Meghan Markle did back in 2015 By Stephanie Petit Stephanie Petit Stephanie Petit is a Royals Writer and Reporter at PEOPLE. People Editorial Guidelines Published on July 18, 2022 10:48 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are in New York City for a special address to the United Nations. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who relocated from the U.K. to Meghan's home state of California in 2020, headed to the U.N. on Monday, where Harry gave a special address in honor of Nelson Mandela Day. The couple held hands as they entered the building, Meghan wearing a black dress and her pinky ring promoting women empowerment with her hair tied back in a ponytail. After New York City Mayor Eric Adams spoke, Prince Harry headed to the microphone to address the assembly. "Those of us not fortunate to know Mandela well have come to understand the man through his legacy, the letters he wrote alone in his prison cell, the speeches he delivered to his people and those incredible shirts that he sported," Harry sad. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Michael M. Santiago/Getty Prince Harry recalled a photo of Princess Diana and Mandela taken in 1997 that is "on my wall and in my heart every day" that was given to him by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. "When I first looked at the photo, straight away what jumped out is the joy on my mother's face. The playfulness — cheekiness, even," Harry, 37, said. "The pure delight to be in communion with another soul so committed to serving humanity." He continued that Mandela was also "beaming" despite all the hardships he endured. "[He was] still able to see the goodness in humanity, still buoyant with a beautiful spirit that lifted everyone around him," Harry said. "Not because he was blind to the ugliness, the injustices of the world — no. He saw them clearly. He had lived them. But because he knew we could overcome them." Why Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Were 'Low-Key' During the Platinum Jubilee Nelson Mandela and Princess Diana. Sasa Kralj/AP Images Prince Harry said, "This has been a painful year in a painful decade," given the global COVID-19 pandemic, issues surrounding climate change, the war in Ukraine, the spread of disinformation and the "rolling back of constitutional rights here in the United States," referring the Supreme Court's reversal of Roe v. Wade. However, he encouraged listeners to "do what Mandela did" by finding "meaning and purpose in the struggle." He also spoke about his love of Africa since his first visit at age 13. "For most of my life, it has been my lifeline, a place where I found peace and healing time and time again," Harry said. "It's where I felt closest to my mother and sought solace after she died, and where I knew I had found a soulmate in my wife." During the couple's tour to Africa in 2019, they met with Graca Machel, Mandela's widow. Prince Harry and Meghan also visited the Nelson Mandela Centenary Exhibition in London back in July 2018. Members of the royal family, including Harry's grandparents Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip as well as both of his parents Prince Charles and Princess Diana, met with Mandela on many occasions before his death in 2013. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Meghan previously appeared at the U.N. Women's conference on International Women's Day in 2015. Her mom Doria Ragland was on hand as she gave an inspiring speech on gender equality. "U.N. Women, as you guys know, has defined the year 2030 as the expiration date for gender inequality," she said. "And here's what's staggering — the studies show that at the current rate, the elimination of gender inequality won't be possible until 2095. That's another eighty years from now. And when it comes to women's political participation and leadership the percentage of female parliamentarians globally has only increased by 11% since 1995. Eleven percent in 20 years? Come on. This has to change. Women make up more than half of the world's population and potential, so it is neither just nor practical for their voices, for our voices, to go unheard at the highest levels of decision-making." Prince Harry. KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Meghan and Prince Harry visited New York City in September 2021, starting with a visit to One World Observatory at the World Trade Center with former Mayor Bill de Blasio, his wife Chirlane McCray, their son Dante de Blasio and Governor Kathy Hochul. During the trip, they met with U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield and Meghan read her children's book The Bench to second grade students at P.S. 123 Mahalia Jackson School in Harlem. The duo then appeared on stage at Global Citizen Live in Central Park, where they spoke up about the world's need for COVID-19 vaccine equity. Can't get enough of PEOPLE's Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more! Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Meghan and Harry returned to New York in November, marking Veterans Day in the U.S. and Remembrance Day in the U.K. at the 2021 Salute to Freedom gala at the Intrepid Museum. After hitting the red carpet, Prince Harry, who served in the British army for 10 years, presented the inaugural Intrepid Valor Awards to five service members, veterans and military families living with the invisible wounds of war. Last month, the couple returned to the U.K. with their two children — Archie Harrison, 3, and Lilibet Diana, 1 — for Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee celebrations. During the trip, they celebrated Lili's first birthday with a backyard party at their U.K. home, Frogmore Cottage in Windsor.