‘Icons’: Harry and Meghan make Time100 list of ‘most influential people’ of 2021

It has sometimes been a rocky road these past 12 months for the US-based British royals Harry and Meghan, but at least they have reason to jump for joy this week after being named among Time‘s most 100 influential people of 2021.

Jose Andrés, a chef who founded a non-profit that provides meals to those in need after natural disasters, writes in their profile in Time on September 15: “They turn compassion into boots on the ground through their Archewell Foundation”.

“They give voice to the voiceless through media production. Hand in hand with non-profit partners, they take risks to help communities in need – offering mental-health support to Black women and girls in the US, and feeding those affected by natural disasters in India and the Caribbean.”

Under the direction of US-based stylist to A-listers including Jennifer Aniston, Nina Hallworth fashioned the Duke, 37, in tailored black shirt and pants with the 40-year-old Duchess in a very similar all-white affair.

It’s not the first time they’ve been included in the top 100, having participated in Time100 talks, but it’s a first appearing together in a magazine photo shoot cover.

“In a world where everyone has an opinion about people they don’t know, the duke and duchess have compassion for the people they don’t know. They don’t just opine. They run toward the struggle,” Andrés wrote.

From the bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey in March, to the birth of their second child Lilibet (we still haven’t seen an official image) – Meghan even managed to squeeze in writing a children’s book called The Bench – the Duke and Duchess of Sussex can now add another major milestone to their 2021 diary.

The Time list is broken into six categories: Icons, Pioneers, Titans, Artists, Leaders and Innovators.

They’ve been honoured in the “Icons” category alongside veteran country singer Dolly Parton and tennis player Naomi Osaka.

The couple appears on one of the multiple covers of the Time100 issue, with many on the magazine’s front page including Simone Biles (Titans), Billie Eilish (Pioneers), Britney Spears, Scarlett Johansson, Elon Musk and Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny.

Photographed for Time by Pari Dukovic, further shots show the couple walking hand in hand wearing complementary olive-coloured outfits.

The Sussexes have spoken openly about their struggles with mental health, including Harry fronting a documentary series about his issues and the impact of therapy.

“Springing into action is not the easy choice for a young duke and duchess who have been blessed through birth and talent, and burned by fame,” Andrés wrote.

“It would be much safer to enjoy their good fortune and stay silent.”

US President Joe Biden, Chinese leader Xi Jinping, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Afghan Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Ghani Baradar made the Leaders list.

Harry Meghan Markle Oprah

Meghan and Harry’s Oprah interview has shifted attitudes towards the royals. Photo: Getty

Sussexes ‘humbled’

On their Archewell website, the royals said they were “humbled” to be included, and revealed that they, in turn, co-authored the profile on Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who made the list as the first African woman to lead the World Trade Organisation.

“The first woman and the first African to assume the position … what further sets her apart, and makes her leadership all the more trailblazing, is her ability to see the COVID-19 pandemic as a crisis with significant implications for both health and economic security,” the Sussexes wrote.

“The Duke and Duchess are honoured to be Ngozi’s partner in pursuing that goal and are proud to be listed alongside her on this year’s Time100.”

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