Watch Prince Harry receive a hero's welcome at a vaccine fundraising concert in Los Angeles, as Sangita Lal reports
Prince Harry received a standing ovation when he appeared alongside a host of famous names at Global Citizen’s Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World.
The charity performance was in aid of the international Covid vaccination effort. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are campaign chairs for the event.
Speaking to an fully vaccinated crowd, Harry pleaded for vaccines to be “distributed to everyone everywhere”, while also saluting frontline medical workers both at the concert and around the world.
“Tonight is a celebration of each of you here, the vaccinated frontline workers in the audience and the millions of frontline heroes around the world,” Harry said.
“You spent the last year battling courageously and selflessly to protect us all. You served and sacrificed, put yourselves in harm’s way, and acted with bravery, knowing the costs. We owe you an incredible debt of gratitude.”
The event to promote coronavirus vaccines was Harry’s first public appearance since Prince Philip’s funeral on April 17, and his first in the US since he and pregnant wife Meghan – who was not at the concert – gave their dramatic interview to Oprah Winfrey in March.
Hosted by Selena Gomez, the concert – to be broadcast this Saturday – featured musical performances by Jennifer Lopez, Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, Foo Fighters, J Balvin and H.E.R.
The event raised donations to Covax, which is working to provide vaccines for low and middle-income countries.
Messages about vaccine equity were also heard from guests including Ben Affleck, David Letterman, Gayle King, Jimmy Kimmel and Sean Penn.
US President Joe Biden, First Lady Jill Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris also committed to make special appearances through Global Citizen’s partnership with the White House’s We Can Do This initiative, which encourages measures including mask-wearing.
Prior to the concert, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex released a statement saying: “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.”
Listen to the ITV News Royal Rota podcast