Prince Harry ‘sees himself as global leader’ – latest speech analysed by expert

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Prince Harry, 36, made a surprise virtual appearance at the GQ Men of the Year awards taking place in London. The Duke of Sussex did not fly across the pond to attend the event in person but called in from his mansion in Montecito, Santa Barbara.

Wearing a black tie and suit, Prince Harry focused his speech on vaccine equity, something he and his wife Meghan Markle have actively campaigned for, and warned about a “mass-scale misinformation across news media and social media” which risks eroding people’s trust in the jabs.

The topic of his speech was linked to the recipients of the Heroes of the Year Award he presented – Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert, Professor Catherine Green and the team behind the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

The speech highlighted Prince Harry’s strong beliefs over the importance of a worldwide vaccination campaign to eradicate COVID-19.

And, according to language expert Judi James, it also suggested Prince Harry sees himself as a player in the community of global leaders. 

Analysing the Duke’s speech, Ms James told “This appearance from Harry at the GQ Awards appears to evolve from a humble and generous introduction of the award-winners into a profile-puff for Harry and ‘my wife’ before ending up as a lecture delivered in the tone of an expert.

“‘I’m deeply honoured… Our heroes of this evening…’ in the intro paragraph suggests Harry is suitably awed and humbled to be presenting the prize, albeit virtually.

“By the second paragraph the use of emphatic opinion worded as a statement ‘an early example of the biotech collaboration we need to bring this global crisis to an end’ raises Harry’s verbal status to that of expert and leader.

“By the third paragraph, Harry’s use of words turns the thoughts in his intro into a lecture from someone who clearly pitches themselves as either a global leader and expert or at the very least as someone who ‘convenes’ with them. 

“‘Until every community can access the vaccine… then we are all at risk’ is worded and delivered in the tone of a lecture and by placing his sources second rather than first ‘That’s a common refrain…’ comes after this, he appears to be offering their opinion as his own.

“The image created is of ‘my wife and I’ taking part in global discussions on a regular basis at the highest level: ‘vaccine experts, heads of industry, community advocates and global leaders’ is his role-call and he is careful to call these ‘convenings’ rather than just chats or conversations.”

Ms James delved into an analysis of the word “convene”, saying: “The choice of the word ‘convenings’ sounds important.

“The dictionary definition is to ‘come together for an official or public purpose, to assemble formally’ suggesting a rather royal or high-status profile and role for Harry here. 

“The lecturing as an expert tone continues with phrases like ‘we cannot move forward together unless we address this imbalance as one’.

Ms James referred to a sentence in Prince Harry’s speech where he mentioned attending meetings and gatherings alongside Meghan with experts in the vaccine sector.

He said: “Until every community can access the vaccine, and until every community is connected to trustworthy information about the vaccine, then we are all at risk.

“That’s a common refrain my wife and I have heard in convenings with vaccine experts, heads of industry, community advocates, and global leaders.” 

Indeed, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have taken part in discussions over vaccine equity and publicly spoke about its importance during Vax Live, a concert open only to fully vaccinated people which took place in May in California.

During the event, attended in person by Harry and via video link by the then-pregnant Duchess, the Sussexes praised the healthcare workers who continue to battle through the pandemic.

They then highlighted how no one in the world is safe from coronavirus if elsewhere people are still being hugely affected by it.

They said a worldwide distribution of the vaccines will not just bring back normality into everyday society but also help rapidly advance the segments of the population, in particular women of colour, who have been the most affected by the crisis. 

Meghan and Harry were also the campaign chairs of the event organised by Global Citizen.

In this role, they led a coordinated drive across the private sector to raise critical funds for COVAX — a vaccine-sharing program co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Committed to the cause of vaccine equity, they also launched a raise-funding appeal on their son’s Archie’s second birthday on May 6.

This successful call to action brought to the donation of more than $3million to the cause of vaccine equity and the fight against COVID-19.   

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