Harry and Meghan faced a flurry of questions as they arrived at an awards ceremony in New York – hours before their new documentary is due to be released on Netflix.
The duke was asked if he was putting money before family as the pair graced the red carpet – but there was no direct response.
“So many questions,” Harry was heard saying as they were escorted inside the gala hosted by the Robert F Kennedy Human Rights (RFKHR) organisation.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were honoured with a Ripple of Hope Award in recognition of their work on racial justice and mental health.
As they accepted the award, the couple released a statement announcing a new partnership between their charitable Archewell Foundation and the RFKHR, saying “together we know that a ripple of hope can turn into a wave of change”.
Speaking onstage with RFKHR president Kerry Kennedy, Harry said: “I’ll be honest with you Kerry I just thought we were just going on a date night so I found it quite weird that we’re sharing the room with 1,500 people.
“We don’t get out much these days because our kids are so small and young so, this is completely unexpected.”
Meghan added: “Thank you for bringing me on this very special date night.”
Whilst no one might have expected them to go full metal jacket on the royals in this forum, it’s conceivable that racism as an issue might have been discussed – and aired publicly – on the grounds of relevance and importance.
But there’s currency in what Harry and Meghan have to say on the subject and that’s being earned elsewhere.
This media-savvy couple have an investment to protect.
It will please them that an internationally-respected organisation like the RFK Human Rights, populated by opinion formers, has rewarded their efforts to change the narrative on racism.
In doing so, it validates their story and can only cement the notion that problems exist within the Royal Family – the issue having been raised by Meghan in a TV interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Here in the United States, the media generally buys into the fairytale of the Royal Family and coverage has duly been dewy-eyed and sympathetic.
That changes with hard news and the reporting around Harry and Meghan is hard-faced and analytical.
The Royal Family, as an institution, is constrained in the extent to which it can engage in rebuttal. Unlike Harry and Meghan who have the freedom to swing the wrecking ball.
Just how far… we’re about to find out.