Meghan Markle made a surprise TV appearance on Sunday evening during the 14th annual CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute. In a pre-taped segment, the Duchess of Sussex honored the “quiet heroes” of the COVID-19 pandemic. “In a year that has been universally challenging for everyone, I’m inspired by the stories of compassion in our communities. Across the country, people have put their own needs aside to come together and support the collective wellbeing of those around them,” she began.
Meghan reflected on the COVID-19 crisis hitting “hard” back in March. “Overnight everything seemed to change. For many families, the impact of the pandemic has been catastrophic and far too many were faced with a heartbreaking question, ‘How am I going to put food on the table for my family?’ But in the face of this devastating reality, we also saw the power of the human spirit and the remarkable ways that communities respond in challenging times,” Prince Harry’s wife said. “We saw the good in people, in our neighbors and in entire communities coming together to say they would not stand by while our neighbors went hungry. We saw communities standing up and taking action.”
The Duchess continued, “When kids’ lunch programs came to a halt, we saw our neighbors make sure that those children received the nutrition they need. And when those who are immunocompromised, or most vulnerable, couldn’t leave their homes, we as a community showed up to deliver the food they needed to their doorsteps. We know the value of food, as nourishment, as a life source, and in moments of crisis, the warmth of a meal can feel as comforting as a much needed hug, especially in the absence of human contact due to the social distancing we’re all experiencing. These moments reminded so many that they’re cared for.”
The Suits alum concluded her remarks saying, “Tonight we are celebrating these quiet heroes. Some of whom I know, and others that we applaud from afar. These individuals stood up and made sure the most basic needs of our communities were met. They made sure that those around them did not have to suffer in isolation. They nourished their neighbors in more ways than one. And they showed us, all of us, that even in the darkest times, when we come together, we have the power to remind someone else that there is hope and that we will be okay.”
Meghan and Harry, who stepped back as senior members of the royal family and moved to California earlier this year, have volunteered amid the pandemic. In April, it was revealed that Archie Harrison’s parents had delivered meals for Project Angel Food. The royal couple also volunteered with Baby2Baby in August. Sunday’s CNN special marked Meghan’s first public appearance since she opened up about her devastating miscarriage in a New York Times op-ed last month.
The CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute will be available on HBO Max starting Dec. 17.