Sunday, 9 May 2021

Meghan & Harry "Thinking of Their Daughter" as VAX Live Raises Over $300m & 26 Million Vaccine Doses

Tonight, Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World aired in the United States and was shared globally via Global Citizen's YouTube Channel. The call to arms for vaccine equity has been a major endeavour for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex who served as chairs of the effort, participating every step of the way. It is the first time we've seen Meghan officially since the Oprah interview. As she's in the late stages of her pregnancy (reportedly due next month), she filmed her portion virtually whilst Harry was at the SoFi stadium in person.

Sitting on a bench in the garden of their Monteceito home, Meghan said, "The past year has been defined by communities coming together tirelessly and heroically to tackle COVID-19. And we've gathered tonight because the road ahead is getting brighter, but it's going to take every one of us to find our way forward." The Duchess focused on the impact of the pandemic on women and girls. "As campaign chairs of VAX Live, my husband and I believe it's critical that our recovery prioritises the health, safety and success of everyone - particularly women who have been disproportionately affected by this pandemic. Women, and especially women of color, have seen a generation of economic gain wiped out. Since the pandemic began, nearly 5.5 million women have lost work in the U.S., and 47 million more women around the world are expected to slip into extreme poverty."

Meghan revealed this is all the more meaningful as she and Harry look forward to welcoming their daughter "soon". "My husband and I are thrilled to soon be welcoming a daughter. It's a feeling of joy we share with millions of other families around the world. When we think of her, we think of all the young women and girls around the globe who must be given the ability and support to lead us forward."

Meghan continued: "Their future leadership depends on the decisions we make and the actions we take now to set them up - and to set all of us up - for a successful, equitable and compassionate tomorrow." Meghan touched on the importance of "connecting as a community" and "our global community", adding "we deserve to heal together". "We want to make sure that as we recover, we recover stronger; that as we rebuild, we rebuild together."

How did Harry and Meghan get involved? Global Citizen CEO Hugh Evans told Variety it was actually very simply: "Just ask."

'The Duke and Duchess of Sussex immediately jumped on board when they were approached by Global Citizen CEO Hugh Evans. “We said we need champion of this campaign. Quite frankly they were immediately on the same page. It wasn’t a convincing. It was a conversation,” Evans told Variety at the concert taping on Sunday night at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. “They were so excited. They said, ‘We believe in the importance of vaccine equity.’ For them, it was an easy decision to do the right thing because they were so passionate already.'

Hugh revealed Meghan was central to convening private sector involvement. "When I spoke to Megan, she said we really should call on the private sector to rally and for American businesses to step up, so they convened a roundtable and they started getting to work, and they invited the private sector leaders to be part of the effort." Hugh added, "They’ve approached it with such sincerity and such leadership. I’ve been extremely impressed with their amazing commitment to the cause."


When the show aired last weekend, we heard Harry speak passionately about "the defining moment in the global fight against Covid-19" we've reached. "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. You spent the last year battling courageously and selflessly to protect us all. You served and sacrificed, put yourselves in harm's way and with bravery, knowing the costs. We owe you an incredible debt of gratitude."

Harry continued: "We're also coming together because this pandemic cannot end unless we act collectively with an unprecedented commitment to our shared humanity. The vaccine must be distributed to everyone everywhere. We cannot rest or truly recover until there is fair distribution to every corner of the world. The mission in front of us is one we cannot afford to fail and that's what tonight is about. The virus does not respect borders and access to the vaccine cannot be determined by geography. It must be accepted as a basic right for all and that is our starting point." The devastating situation in India was very much at the forefront of his mind. "When any suffer, we all suffer. We must look beyond ourselves with empathy and compassion for those we know, and those we don't. We need to lift up all of humanity and make sure that no person or community is left behind. What we do in this moment will stand in history, and tonight, we stand in solidarity with the millions of families across India who are battling a devastating second wave." Later, speaking about misinformation Harry noted. "If vaccine distribution moved as quickly as misinformation, just imagine how many lives could be saved."

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In a candid backstage clip, Harry shared his fears of "science being politicised". Adding, "Over the last year, everyone has experienced so much loss and so much struggle, and I think the only way that we are really going to heal and recover is to do that together."

I know many of you were excited to see the outcome and what it would mean for global vaccination. Earlier this evening, Global Citizen shared the fantastic news $302 million in funding and over 26 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been mobilised.

Part of the Global Citizen’s broader Recovery Plan for the World, the VAX LIVE campaign was launched to provide equitable and urgent COVID-19 vaccine access to vulnerable communities around the world and support the work of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, the global mechanism dedicated to the equitable and coordinated procurement of vaccines, tests, and treatments and universal access to affordable COVID-19 vaccination.

- $302 million pledged by Canada and Croatia, and $2.5 million from the private sector in support of the ACT-Accelerator to ensure the equitable delivery of COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments.

13.25 million COVID-19 vaccine doses pledged from Norway, Spain, New Zealand, Croatia, and the UAE to share doses regionally, and to vulnerable countries around the world.

- $39.6 million in commitments pledged by corporate and philanthropic partners in support of COVAX, the worldwide initiative aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. These pledges have been matched in funding to the value of $23.6 million, totaling $63.3 million. This funding is set to help procure almost 12.66 million COVID-19 vaccines.

Portugal will bring forward the delivery of its initial commitment to provide 1 million doses to Portuguese-speaking countries to begin in June 2021.

 -In total, more than 26 million COVID-19 vaccine doses pledged by governments, businesses, and philanthropists to support those around the world most in need as a result of the aforementioned funding.
Additionally, the fundraiser launched in honour of Archie's 2nd birthday two days ago has mobilised $535,000 which will purchase 107,000 doses. Following support from several organisations, your $5 donation will turn into $20, which is the amount needed to fund four vaccine doses. Click here if you wish to make a contribution. It runs for another week.


During the broadcast, it was revealed Spotify pledged $1 million to COVAX and WHO Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

One of the most moving clips saw world leaders commit.

Global Citizen shared stories from partners in the effort.

President Joe Biden said, "We know just how difficult the last year has been, we really do. The loss of life, the loss of our way of life. Birthdays, graduations, the simple milestones we've had to forego". Dr Jill Biden added: "Meeting your newborn grandchild or holding a loved one's hand through a hard time, gathering with friends or smiling with a stranger without wearing a mask. When you get vaccinated you don't have to miss them any longer. Everybody in America, sixteen and older, is now eligible to get vaccinated for free. We're working with leaders around the world to share more vaccines and boost protection to make sure every country has the vaccines they need."

Vice-President Kamala Harris said, "If we have gained anything it's the responsibility we have as a global community to see one another, to support one another and to protect one another."

France's President Macron said he was "delighted" to participate in the event. The President noted "vaccination is essential", stressing the importance of "rallying everyone around Covid-19 vaccination", and adding, "I believe and I repeatedly said the vaccine should be a global public good."

Pope Francis joined the event virtually to support "universal access to vaccines and the temporary suspension of intellectual property rights". The Pontiff continued: "A variant of this virus is closed nationalism, which prevents, for example, an internationalism of vaccines. Another variant is when we put the laws of the market or intellectual property above the laws of love and the health of humanity."

A host of world leaders participated, including Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Croatia Andrej Plenković, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, European Commision President Ursula von der Leyen, Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation Reem al Hashimy, and Minister of Health of Portugal Marta Temido.

H.E. Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam, Secretary General of the Higher Committee on Human Fraternity said:

"We have to stand together and raise our voice, for the sake of providing this vaccine, and for the sake of fairness in its distribution, we must show solidarity and join hands in order to get rid of selfishness in monopolizing the right to produce this vaccine, in order for this vaccine to reach everyone".

Jennifer Lopez gave several outstanding performances, beginning with a rendition of 'Sweet Caroline' in honour of her mum who joined her on stage.

Behind the scenes on the night of filming.

Eddie Vedder performed 'Corduroy' and called for pharmaceutical companies to provide vaccines at cost.

Academy Award-winning artist H.E.R. performed 'Glory' with students from the Los Angeles Unified School District.

The Duchess looked radiant in Carolina Herrera's Poppy Print Shirt Dress (with thanks to Laura).

The 100% silk dress is described: "Made from bright red silk with a floral print, the button-down design has a smart collar, a belted waist and a full skirt. Complete the look with pumps and a tote, no matter the occasion." It's currently available at NordstromMy Theresa and Farfetch.

The print is also seen in the Floral-Print Silk-Georgette shirt and wide-leg pants.

The Duchess wore a new necklace. The eagle-eyed Sams Fashion Find identified the piece as the Woman Power Necklace Set by Awe Inspired

Awe Inspired revealed: "The Woman Power Goddess Charm combines the female Venus symbol with a protesting fist. It is embellished with a genuine purple amethyst, a protective stone associated with abundance and enlightenment."

The necklace features in a set inspired by Kamala Harris. More from the description: "100 years after the 19th amendment and 55 years after the voting rights act, we now have a woman in the White House. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of our Kamala Harris Goddess Coin will be donated to EMILY's List. We are honored to join forces with EMILY's List to help get more women elected to national, state, and local offices this year." The piece is available in gold vermeil and sterling silver on Awe's website.

Awe Inspired was launched by 2017 by three-time cancer survivor Jill Johnson and her son Max to be the "Livestrong of fine jewelry": a brand that would make meaningful and exceptional quality gifts for anyone looking to honor a survivor in their life. The brand revealed: "Since then, Awe has grown beyond Jill and Max’s wildest dreams and become a symbol of strength for tens of thousands of customers. The team now also includes Jill’s younger son Adam and an awe-mazing group of people dedicated to enhancing the human experience through gifting and giving back." Pieces are crafted from precious metals and ethically sourced gemstones. To date Awe Inspired has donated over half a million dollars to charities including the NAACP which Harry and Meghan have worked with.

It appears the Duchess wore Diana's Cartier Tank watch:

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And her Cartier Love bracelet.


You can watch the concert in its entirety below.

An amazing event making a difference in the world's poorest countries. It's impossible to quantify the impact $302 million and 26 million does will have in the fight against the pandemic. The lives it will save, the healthcare workers it will protect. It was deeply encouraging to see leaders from around the world join together in a powerful reminder we're all in this together and the challenge continues until everyone is vaccinated. This is some of the most powerful and meaningful work Harry and Meghan could ever hope to achieve.

14 comments:

  1. As always a pleasure to hear Meghan speak in regards to a cause she is seriously involved in. I was impressed by the world leaders involved in this important endeavor. Continued good on them. Meghan is looking healthy and well. The color of the dress with the background of the beautiful California sunshine only added to her great complexion. I really like this particular Carolina Herrera dress. I am familiar with this particular dress and imagine that it has been adjusted to suit her as it is a very full overwhelming dress without being belted as Meghan is wearing it not to mention the length. Even baby girl Sussex would not need all the room this garment offers. However, I do like the dress itself. As far as Diana's watch, it couldn't be more at home on Meghan's wrist especially on the eve of Mothers Day in the USA.

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  2. Hello. As a Spanish reader I must clarify that Spain has said from the beginning that would donate doses once we got a certain % of population vaccinated. So while this initiative is fantastic, it is not what has made my country collaborate with other more vulnerable ones.

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  3. Allison in US9 May 2021 at 14:13

    I was working with the TV on and had forgotten about this until it cam on. The audience was incredibly pumped and "Sweet Caroline" was perfect. Everyone screamed "So good, so good" at the proper times, and J-Lo really connected. Harry was great, as were all the speakers and acts -- I particularly enjoyed the Foo Fighters with AC/DC's Brian Johnson. The money raised is amazing. And Meghan looked as lovely as I've ever seen her. The dress was not as orange as the images show it -- it felt more raspberry red. Reminded me of Marimekko patterns. Her hair was glorious, and she shows a flirty little earring. And she speaks so well!! It was quite a treat all around.

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  4. Beautiful, well done! I wish this money really helps those who are in need especially since we know that many are still suspicious of these vaccines. Meghan is radiant, it is a joy to know that she is having a good pregnancy. Good job to Harry and Meghan.

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  5. How can someone hate these amazing individuals (harry and meghan). Kudos to them and the organizer's for trying to make the world a better place for all.

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    1. Hating them seems uncalled for, but I can understand how someone could disagree with them or things they have done, just like anyone.

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  6. Against all odds, Excelling beyond my imagination. May God bless them and their family

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  7. I am thrilled at the amount of money raised by this heart-warming international endeavor. I trust that contributions will continue pour in. Seeing so many people from around the world give of themselves to this urgent cause brings tears to my eyes. We must unite if we are to defeat this virus.

    I appreciated seeing that even the sweet, loving and good-humored Pope contributed to the cause. This might be a first in these types of global fund-raising efforts. I wonder who invited him. Was it Meghan? Thanks for including his contribution here, Charlotte.

    It’s wonderful to see Hugh Evans’s words of appreciation for Meghan and Harry’s creativity, enthusiasm and work to make Vax Live a success. I hope that the words of those who actually meet, interact and work with them might dent the perception created by the poison that continues to spew from the toxic tabloids.

    Harry looked relaxed, happy and in his element. He’s always a natural. How can you not love him?

    Meghan looked radiant and relaxed in that gorgeous dress in her lovely garden. Away from the caged display of her royal role, she has returned to her natural, beautiful, passionate self, advocating for the cause closest to her heart -- women’s equality and empowerment.

    I’m so happy that she was able to enjoy this pregnancy with the privacy and rest so lacking in her first.

    I experienced this event primarily through your beautiful coverage, Charlotte. Thank you so much.

    R

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    1. You said it to perfection. -Karen in Virginia

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    2. I experience so many events through Charlottes coverage. She is truly a gift. :)

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    3. Some of the fundraising was already in place. For example New Zealand had already promised that its share of the vaccines they had ordered was going to be shared with neighbouring Polynesian islands and that we were donating to Covax to help other poorer countries. Unfortunately patent rights will keep prices too high for more equitable access unless charities step in to help fund them. Harry and Meghan could help by highlighting this problem.

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  8. Meghan is always beautiful but she is glowing during her pregnancy. I love this dress a lot, the color, the pattern, she looks amazing in it.

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  9. she looks lovely highlighting this worthy cause

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  10. Meghan is really good speaker much better she should be heard she was lovely good in cause

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Welcome to Mad About Meghan! We do so look forward to reading your thoughts. Constructive, fair debate is always encouraged. Hateful, derogatory terms and insults are not welcome here. This space focuses on Harry and Meghan, not any other member of the Royal family. It's not the place to discuss politics either. Thank you for reading, we look forward to your comments :)