Prince Harry and the former Meghan Markle brought along a very special guest when they attended the 53rd NAACP Image Awards on Saturday.
The couple was joined by Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were honored at the ceremony with the President’s Award, which is given to recognize “special achievement and distinguished public service.” The couple joined such previous recipients as Muhammad Ali, Jesse Jackson, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, LeBron James and Rihanna.
The duchess wrapped up their speech by acknowledging her mother.
“My mom’s here with us tonight, and we all feel very proud,” she said.
Harry also expressed appreciation for being allowed to help others.
“I also echo the immense gratitude for tonight, both for this award and this community for welcoming me so warmly,” he said. “I think it’s safe to say that I come from a very different background from my incredible wife, yet our lives were brought together for a reason. We share a commitment to a life of service, a responsibility to combat injustice and a belief that the most often overlooked are the most important to listen to.”
“We are so deeply humbled to be here in the company of so many illustrious awardees,” the duchess added in her remarks.
“We’re thrilled to present this award to Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who together have heeded the call to social justice and have joined the struggle for equity both in the US and around the world,” said Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP, in a statement before the ceremony.
“Not only do they continue to lead by example, The Duke and Duchess have also decided to inspire the next generation of activists through the NAACP-Archewell Digital Civil Rights Award, ensuring the support and recognition of generations of civil rights leaders to come.”
The new NAACP-Archewell Digital Civil Rights Award was also created to honor people seeking change in the name of civil and human rights. Dr. Safiya Noble, an author and scholar who has researched how digital technologies work in conjunction with culture, race, and gender, was the first recipient.