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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle mourn ‘beloved icon’ Desmond Tutu as queen pays homage to the apartheid hero

PRINCE Harry and Meghan Markle last night praised Archbishop Desmond Tutu as an “icon” who was “loved around the world”.

The Queen and Barack Obama also paid tribute to the human rights champion and apartheid hero, who died today at the age of 90.

He met the Duchess of Sussex during her tour of South Africa

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He met the Duchess of Sussex during her tour of South AfricaCredit: Getty – Employee
Harry and Meghan described him as "an icon of racial justice"

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Harry and Meghan described him as “an icon of racial justice”Credit: Twitter
The couple had met the activist in 2019

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The couple had met the activist in 2019
Harry and Meghan paid tribute to Archbishop Desmond Tutu

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Harry and Meghan paid tribute to Archbishop Desmond TutuCredit: Twitter

Archbishop Tutu, who was the last remaining South African winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, was an outspoken critic of the country’s previously brutal system of oppression against the country’s Black majority.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who met the activist in 2019, shared a statement for his death.

The statement read: “Archbishop Tutu will be remembered for his optimism, his moral clarity and his cheerful spirit.

“He was an icon of racial justice and loved all over the world.

“It was only two years ago that he held our son Archie while we were in South Africa – ‘Arch and the Arch’ he had made a joke, his infectious laughter rang through the room, and relaxed everyone in his presence.

“He remained a friend and will be greatly missed by all.”

Harry and Meghan had met the Archbishop and his daughter Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe in September 2019 during a visit to South Africa.

Four-month-old Archie stole the show after he high-fifthed Archbishop Tutu when Thandeka joked that he “will be a lady” with Meghan saying he was an “old soul” because her son was happy with a camera play.

Archbishop Tutu appeared happy to meet the family and even handed over some books, including The Book of Joy which he wrote with the Dalai Lama.

After the meeting, the Sussexes shared a nice photo of the Archbishop giving Archie a kiss on the forehead, writing, “Thank you Archbishop Tutu for your incredibly warm hospitality, Archie loved meeting you!”

The tributes to the activist were led by the Queen who said she and the entire royal family were “deeply saddened” by his death.

Her Majesty’s message read: “I am deeply saddened by the news of the death of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a man who has insufficiently advocated for human rights in South Africa and around the world.

“I remember with fondness my encounters with him and his great warmth and humor. The loss of Archbishop Tutu will be felt by the people of South Africa, and by so many people in Great Britain, Northern Ireland and across the Commonwealth, where that he was held in such high love and esteem.

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden said he was “heartbroken to learn of the death of a true servant of God and of men.”

“His legacy goes beyond borders and will echo through the ages.”

Former United States President Barack Obama paid homage to “a mentor, friend and moral compass.”

He said: “Archbishop Tutu was grounded in the struggle for liberation and justice in his own country, but also engaged in injustice everywhere.”

“He never lost his immense sense of humor and willingness to find humanity in his opponents, and Michelle and I will miss him dearly.”

Pope Francis said in a statement that he “sends his sincere condolences to his family and loved ones”.

“Commemorating his service to the gospel by promoting racial equality and reconciliation in his native South Africa, his holiness praises his soul to the loving grace of Almighty God.”

The activist was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his campaign of non-violent resistance to South Africa’s white minority rule.

In a statement issued by Prime Minister Mondli Gungubele, President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed his deep regret over his death.

President Ramaphosa said: “The death of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is another chapter of death in the farewell of our nation to a generation of wonderful South Africans who have left us a liberated SA.

“Desmond Tutu was an unparalleled patriot; a leader of principle and pragmatism who gave meaning to the biblical insight that faith without works is dead.

“A man of extraordinary intellect, integrity and invincibility against the forces of apartheid, he was also tender and vulnerable in his compassion for those who suffered under apartheid, suffered injustice and violence, and oppressed and oppressed people all over the world. world. “

Desmond Tutu pictured with the Queen and Nelson Mandela in 1995 leaving a service marking Human Rights Day

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Desmond Tutu pictured with the Queen and Nelson Mandela in 1995 leaving a service marking Human Rights Day
The queen led the tribute and said it is the royal family "deeply saddened" by his death

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The queen led the tribute, saying the royal family was “deeply saddened” by his death.Credit: theroyalfamily / Instagram
Former President Barack Obama described Tutu as a 'crusader for freedom'

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Former President Barack Obama described Tutu as a ‘crusader for freedom’Credit: Reuters

Archbishop Tutu leaves behind his wife Mam Leah Tutu, who is described as his “soul mate and source of strength”, as are four children and several grandchildren.

A statement on behalf of his family, Dr Ramphela Mamphele, described him as a man who “turned his own unhappiness into a learning opportunity to raise awareness and reduce the suffering of others.”

It added: “He wanted the world to know he had prostate cancer, and that the sooner it is discovered, the better the chance of managing it.

“Finally, at the age of 90, he died peacefully at the Oasis Frail Care Center in Cape Town this morning.

“Courage, mercy, and concern for the welfare of others to the end.

“As Mrs. Tutu says, although he was not physically impressive, he had the inner strength of a lion.”

Tutu was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the late 1990’s, and in recent years he has been hospitalized several times to treat infections associated with his treatment.

Piers Morgan wrote: “RIP Archbishop Desmond Tutu, 90.

“A wonderfully charismatic and heroic figure who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his ruthless campaign against Apartheid in South Africa.

“Love his quote: ‘If you want peace, do not talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies.'”

The Archbishop of Canterbury said: “Archbishop Desmond Tutu was a prophet and priest, a man of words and action – one who portrayed the hope and joy that were the foundations of his life.

“Even in our deep sorrow we give thanks for a life so well lived. With him rest in peace and rise in glory.”

The Dalai Lama wrote a letter to the daughter of the archbishop, Rev. Mpho Tutu, and wrote: “Archbishop Desmond Tutu was fully dedicated to serving his brothers and sisters for the greater common interest.

“He was a true humanitarian and a dedicated advocate for human rights. His work for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was an inspiration to others around the world.

“With his death, we have lost a great man who lived a truly meaningful life.

“He was dedicated to the service of others, especially those who were least fortunate.

“I am convinced that the best honor we can pay him and keep his spirit alive is to do as he did and constantly see how we can help others as well.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “I am deeply saddened to hear of the death of Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

“He was a critical figure in the fight against apartheid and in the fight to create a new South Africa – and will be remembered for his spiritual leadership and not to suppress good humor.”

The Nelson Mandela Foundation added: “His contributions to the fight against injustice, locally and globally, are only commensurate with the depth of his thinking on creating a liberating future for human societies.

“He was an extraordinary man. A thinker. A leader. A shepherd.”

Ms Mamphele gave no details about the cause of death.

Entrepreneur Richard Branson tweeted: “I am so sad that Archbishop Tutu has died – the world has lost a giant. He was a brave leader, a miserable man, a deep thinker and a dear friend.”

Oprah also paid homage to a “hopeful, peacemaker, justice activist.”

Born in 1931 in Klerksdorp, Transvaal, South Africa, he became the first Black Anglican Archbishop of both Cape Town and Johannesburg.

In the 1980s, he played a role in drawing national and international attention to the injustices of apartheid.

He later chaired the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and over the years has focused on a number of social justice issues.

In 1993, South African apartheid finally came to an end, and in 1994, South Africans elected Nelson Mandela as their first black president.

President Mandela also appointed Tutu to head the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which has the task of investigating and reporting on the atrocities committed by both sides in the struggle over apartheid.

In his last years, he regretted that his dream of a “Rainbow Nation” had not yet come true.

Asked about his retirement as archbishop of Cape Town in 1996 if he regretted it, Tutu said: “The struggle tended to make one abrasive and more than a touch self-righteous.

“I hope people will forgive me for all the pain I have caused them.”

POWER OF A LION

In December 2003, he punished his government for its support of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, despite growing criticism of his human rights record.

He also criticized South African President Thabo Mbeki for his public question about the link between HIV and AIDS, saying that Mbeki’s international profile had been tarnished.

Tutu, the son of a teacher, was born in Klerksdorp, a conservative city west of Johannesburg, on October 7, 1931.

He first worked as a teacher, but retired in 1957 to join the church, and first studied at St. Peter’s Theological College in Johannesburg.

He was ordained a priest in 1961 and studied at King’s College London, before becoming Anglican Dean of Johannesburg in 1975.

Tutu was appointed the first Black Archbishop of Cape Town in 1986, and became the head of the Anglican Church, the fourth largest in South Africa. He would hold that position until 1996.

The town hall in Cape Town is lit in purple in memory of the archbishop

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The town hall in Cape Town is lit in purple in memory of the archbishopCredit: AP
Table Mountain has become purple - the color of the archbishop's cloaks

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Table Mountain has become purple – the color of the archbishop’s cloaksCredit: AP
He was next to Nelson Mandela when he became the first black president of South Africa

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He was next to Nelson Mandela when he became the first black president of South AfricaCredit: AP: Associated Press
Archbishop Tutu with the Dalai Lama

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Archbishop Tutu with the Dalai LamaCredit: Reuters
The last public photo of the archbishop was taken in October after he came home to vote in Cape Town

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The last public photo of the archbishop was taken in October after he came home to vote in Cape TownCredit: AFP
Desmond Tutu dies – Archbishop and human rights activist dies at age 90

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