Prince Harry was invited as a VIP guest to the first-ever OnSide Awards. It was held on November 17 at the Royal Albert Hall.
The British royal was tasked to present the OnSide Health and Wellbeing Award, winners being the "Strong Sisters" from Blackburn. In his speech prior to giving the award, the Duke of Sussex mentioned 16-year-old climate change activist Greta Thunberg.
Greta was not present at the OnSide Awards (she previously turned down a prize award). It is not awards but political action that Thunberg seeks.
The Duke of Sussex used Thunberg as an example of how mental health can help the youth unlock their potentials. He illustrated that every country, community, family, and group needs someone like Greta.
Greta struck Harry as "someone who stands up for what they believe" and can pave the way for others around them.
Greta was "one voice with a placard" at the beginning, exclaimed the Duke. However, " she had a belief and a mission for everyone."
That, according to Prince Harry, is the reason why Greta has the attention of the entire world.
Now, Thunberg is keen to lead a youth strike in 150 countries. Adults in different countries have also joined her. Even celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jane Fonda and Anne Hathaway showed their support to the young environmentalist.
World's Children to World Leaders
The OnSide Awards was not the first time Prince Harry praised Greta Thunberg. While visiting Botswana in Africa, he showed support for the young environmental activist.
"Led by Greta, the world's children are now at strike," Harry revealed. The British royal added that there is no denying undeniable scientific evidences that point to climate emergency. "Facts have been around for four decades," stressed Harry who was troubled by leaders who deny science-backed proofs.
Harry's statement was in reference to the lack of political action despite the youth's protest. At the UN Climate Summit, Thunberg was invited to speak to world leaders. U.S. President Donald Trump was also in attendance.
Greta boldly stated, "How dare you? The youth are starting to understand your betrayal." She claimed the summit should not merely be of climate talk, but of climate action.
Regardless, Trump continued to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement on climate change.
Greta Thunberg Gains Support from British Royals
Harry's wife, the Duchess of Sussex, previously supported Thunberg's activism. During her guest-editing for the September 2019 issue of British Vogue, Meghan Markle made sure to feature Thunberg.
Greta posed a challenge for the readers of the publication saying, "Why don't you try to make a difference?" She said this in response to her detractors, adding that criticizing will not achieve anything.
Thunberg has since met with the Pope. She has also been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.