Prince Harry and Meghan accused of 'stealing' to 'make millions'

Nelson Mandela's granddaughter has slammed the couple over their new Netflix series.

EDIT: Ndileka Mandela has hit back after her comments were published by The Australian, suggesting she said Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were using Nelson Mandela's name for their own personal gain.

Ms Mandela has claimed in an opinion piece for The Independent her words were twisted and exploited to attack the royal couple. She added that her grandfather's reputation was being used to attack a woman of colour and that she had never suggested Harry and Meghan were "profiteering" from his name.

"(Meghan and Harry's) critics ... falsely exploited my grandfather's name to attack them," she said. "The words wrongly attributed to me, criticising them for quoting my grandfather, are not mine at all – they belong not to me, but to those who have amplified these falsehoods all over the world.

"I am mortified to have seen how my words were twisted in such a way as to distort my genuine concerns about the commercial exploitation of my grandfather's legacy."

Nelson Mandela's granddaughter Ndileka Mandela, 57, has accused Prince Harry and Meghan Markle of "stealing" the anti-apartheid campaigner's words in order to "make millions" out of their new Netflix documentary Live To Lead.

In Live To Lead, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex use footage of Nelson leaving prison in 1990, with Harry sharing in the trailer, "This was inspired by Nelson Mandela."

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in new Netflix docuseries Live to Lead
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been accused by Nelson Mandela's granddaughter of 'stealing' his words to 'make millions'. Photo: Netflix

The docuseries features profiles of seven leaders chosen by the couple, including former U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, feminist icon and social justice activist Gloria Steinem and climate change activist Greta Thunberg.

Harry quotes Nelson in the trailer, saying, "What counts in life is not the mere fact that we've lived."

Meghan then finishes the quote, saying, "It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead."


Ndileka revealed in an interview with The Australian that while she admired Harry and Meghan for having the courage to leave the royal family, she found it "deeply upsetting and tedious" that they were using the former South African president's name to fund their new life in America.

"Harry needs to be authentic and stick to his own story, what relevance does grandad’s life have with his?" the social activist and writer told the publication. "I don’t believe he nor Meghan have ever properly met granddad, maybe when Harry was young at Buckingham Palace, but they are using his quotations in the documentary to draw in people and make millions without the Mandela family benefiting.

Nelson Mandela in 1990
Anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela in 1990, following his release from prison after serving 27 years. Photo: Getty
Ndileka Mandela
Ndileka Mandela has revealed she finds it "deeply upsetting and tedious" that Harry and Meghan are using her grandfather's name to fund their new life in America. Photo: Getty

"I know the Nelson Mandela Foundation has supported the initiative but people have stolen grandfather’s quotes for years and have used his legacy because they know his name sells – Harry and Meghan are no different from them."

Harry shared during a visit to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory in 2015, "It is not for me to try and put into words the impact that President Mandela had on South Africa, or a generation across the globe - those far more eloquent than I have already done so. However, I was fortunate enough to meet Madiba a number of years ago and I have treasured that memory ever since."

Meghan has previously been slammed over comments she made during an interview with The Cut, where she compared her wedding to Mandela's release from prison.

Prince Harry and Meghan meet Graca Machel
Prince Harry and Meghan meet Graca Machel, widow of the late Nelson Mandela during their visit to South Africa in 2019. Photo: Getty

The Duchess of Sussex said she was pulled aside by a South African cast member of the 2019 live-action Lion King movie premiere, one year after her royal wedding, saying that the unnamed actor told her, "I just need you to know. When you married into this family, we rejoiced in the streets the same we did when Mandela was freed from prison."

However, there is only one South African actor in the film, who told MailOnline that the encounter never happened.


Dr John Kani, who voiced Rafiki in the film, said Meghan and Harry's wedding was "no big deal" in South Africa and couldn't be compared to Mandela's release from prison.

"That was a world event. Surely Miss Meghan or whatever marrying into royalty cannot in any way be spoken in the same breath or even the same sentence as that moment," he told the publication.

Dr Kani also shared that he did not attend the film's London premiere, adding, "I have never met Meghan Markle. This seems like something of a faux pas by her. I am the only South African member of the cast and I did not attend the premiere in London... It just may be a mis-remembering on her side."

Never miss a thing. Sign up to Yahoo Lifestyle’s daily newsletter.

Or if you have a story idea, email us at