Harry and Meghan lead vaccine campaign to ensure rich countries don't hoard supplies

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·3 min read
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 05: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex attend The Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House on March 05, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Harry and Meghan in March 2020, at one of their last events in the UK, the Endeavour Fund Awards. (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are joining US President Joe Biden and stars including Chrissy Teigen, and Ben Affleck for a huge concert which aims to "reunite the world".

The royal couple has called on wealthy countries, philanthropists and the private sector to donate money to ensure all nations have access to vaccines for COVID-19.

In what could be their first joint public appearance since their explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will deliver a message during Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World, which is being held in Los Angeles on 2 May.

Organisers Global Citizen said it would be the "first large-scale music event for a covid-compliant audience of fully-vaccinated frontline healthcare and essential workers", and will be filmed for release in the US and the UK on 8 and 9 May respectively.

Harry and Meghan have joined as campaign chairs, and have been "leading a co-ordinated drive across the private sector to raise critical funds for the vaccine-sharing program COVAX".

ORLANDO, FL - MAY 11:  Prince Harry and Vice President of the United States of America Joe Biden watch USA Vs Denmark in the wheelchair rugby match at the Invictus Games Orlando 2016 at ESPN Wide World of Sports on May 11, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. Prince Harry, patron of the  Invictus Games Foundation is in Orlando for the Invictus Games 2016. The Invictus Games is the only International sporting event for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women. Started in 2014 by Prince Harry the Invictus Games uses the power of Sport to inspire recovery and support rehabilitation.  (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images for Invictus Games)
Harry will be reunited with Joe Biden, seen here together at the 2017 Invictus Games. (Chris Jackson/Getty Images for Invictus Games)

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In a joint statement, Harry and Meghan said: "Over the past year, our world has experienced pain, loss, and struggle—together. Now we need to recover and heal—together. We can’t leave anybody behind. We will all benefit, we will all be safer, when everyone everywhere has equal access to the vaccine. 

"We must pursue equitable vaccine distribution, and in that, restore faith in our common humanity. This mission couldn’t be more critical or important."

Also involved in the campaign is US president Joe Biden, his wife Dr Jill Biden and vice president Kamala Harris.

The line-up includes names like Jimmy Kimmel, Jennifer Lopez, Eddie Vedder, H.E.R., David Letterman and Gayle King and is hosted by Selena Gomez.

Teigen and King are both friends of the Duchess of Sussex.

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, (C) attends with Britain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York, (L) and Britain's Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, the ceremonial funeral procession of Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh to St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 17, 2021. - Philip, who was married to Queen Elizabeth II for 73 years, died on April 9 aged 99 just weeks after a month-long stay in hospital for treatment to a heart condition and an infection. (Photo by CHRIS JACKSON / various sources / AFP) (Photo by CHRIS JACKSON/AFP via Getty Images)
Harry was briefly back in the UK in April for his grandfather's funeral. Here with his uncles Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. (Chris Jackson/AFP)

Vax Live is supported by the World Health Organisation (WHO), European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Prime Minister of Italy and G20 Chair Mario Draghi, President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sanchez, President of France Emmanuel Macron, and the State of California.

Prince Harry, 36, returned to California after a brief trip to Windsor for his grandfather's funeral earlier this month.

Meghan, 39, was unable to attend because she is pregnant with their second child and could not gain medical clearance to go.

Although Harry was seen talking to his brother, Prince William, and his wife Kate, it has been said the brothers did not make any significant progress in their relationship during Harry's stay in the UK.

Harry is next due in the UK in July when he and William will unveil the statue of their mother, Diana.

The brothers have agreed that her wedding dress, which is part of their private collection of her items, will be put on display in Kensington Palace in time for what would have been her 60th birthday.

Watch: Oprah Winfrey was shocked by royal revelations during interview