Meghan and Harry’s Netflix show ‘exploits Nelson Mandela’

Harry and Meghan’s new documentary series includes an episode on Nelson Mandela (Pictures: Netflix/Per-Anders Pettersson/Getty Images)

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been accused by Nelson Mandela’s granddaughter of exploiting the South African statesman’s legacy.

Harry and Meghan, who signed a deal worth a reported $100million to make shows for Netflix, include references to Mr Mandela in their new Live To Lead documentary series.

But Ndileka Mandela said their use of his brand was ‘deeply upsetting and tedious’.

She added: ‘Harry needs to be authentic and stick to his own story, what relevance does grandad’s life have with his? I don’t believe he nor Meghan have ever properly met granddad, maybe when Harry was young at Buckingham Palace, but they are using his quotations in the documentary to draw in people and make millions without the Mandela family benefiting.’

Live To Lead has seven episodes, each focusing on a different inspirational figure, with climate activist Greta Thunberg, New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern and feminist Gloria Steinem all included.

Mr Mandela is not one of the seven but footage is used of him leaving prison in 1990. Meghan and Harry are shown saying the series was inspired by him, as well as quoting his words of wisdom.

Ndileka Mandela

Ndileka Mandela says the royal couple are using her grandfather’s legacy to make millions (Picture: Supplied)

GRETA THUNBERG LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 27: Climate activist Greta Thunberg sits for a photo on the steps of the Museum???s central Hintze Hall at Natural History Museum on June 27, 2022 in London, England. Thunberg teamed up with the Natural History Museum to produce an event for school students centred around biodiversity loss, one of the themes of her forthcoming book, The Climate Book. (Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images)

Greta Thunberg also features in the series (Picture: Getty)

Ndileka said: ‘I know the Nelson Mandela Foundation has supported the initiative but people have stolen grandfather’s quotes for years and have used his legacy because they know his name sells – Harry and Meghan are no different from them.’

It is not the first time the couple have been criticised by one of Mr Mandela’s grandchildren.

His grandson Zwelivelile ‘Mandla’ Mandela said he was surprised last year when Meghan mentioned a comparison between her wedding and the anti-apartheid leader’s long walk to freedom.

The duchess said in an interview that a cast member from the Lion King musical had told her: ‘When you married into this family, we rejoiced in the streets the same we did when Mandela was freed from prison.’    

But Zwelivelile said: ‘Madiba’s celebration was based on overcoming 350 years of colonialism with 60 years of a brutal apartheid regime in South Africa. So It cannot be equated to as the same.’

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