Europe

Ardern in tricky position after distancing herself from Sussexes show

Prince Harry and Meghan's Netflix show 'backfiring' says host

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New Zealand’s Prime Minister almost put herself on collision course with King Charles after featuring prominently in Harry and Meghan’s new Netflix trailer. Shortly after the release of the trailer, Jacinda Ardern distanced herself from the the Sussexes’ Netflix project ‘Live to Lead’ by putting out a statement, insisting she was unaware she would be featured in it. The trailer not only awkwardly blindsided her but could have left her involved in a constitutional row.

In her role as the current Prime Minister, Ms Ardern may be interpreted as supporting rebel Prince Harry against his father, King Charles, who is the head of state of New Zealand, according to The Spectator.

Ms Ardern’s office admitted the footage was taken from an interview conducted in November 2019 for a previous project motivated by Nelson Mandela’s legacy.

According to the office, it was “notified that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would introduce the series” in May of this year – “nearly two and a half years after the interview had been recorded and permission for its use by the Nelson Mandela Foundation had already been provided.”

The Prime Minister suggested being caught off guard by the trailer’s release date, as she only “became aware of what was happening with it” on the release day. However, she admitted she had “not stayed close” to communications with the couple.

“In early March 2019 the Prime Minister was approached by the Nelson Mandela Foundation to participate in a project to develop accessible resources on key attributes of leadership targeted at aspiring young leaders around the world, based off a one-hour interview,” a spokesman said.

Ms Ardern added: “They were producing resources for future leaders with the focus on young leaders. I’ve not been involved in the decision-making around what happens next and I have not had direct contact with the Sussexes.”

However, she said she “stood by” the interview and the foundation’s right to use the footage how they saw fit.

In the trailer for the show, the New Zealand Prime Minister is seen standing at a podium giving a speech for the opening of the United Nations General Assembly in September. 

“As leaders, we have the keys to create a sense of security and a sense of hope”, she said, as countries around the world grappled with spiralling inflation, energy crises and other after-effects of the pandemic.

Another clip shows Jacina Ardern, the first prime minister of New Zealand to walk in Auckland pride, hugging a boy waving flags during the parade.

The teaser for ‘Live to Lead’ also featured interview clips with climate activist Greta Thunberg, Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, feminist activist Gloria Steinem, and South African anti-apartheid activist and judge Albie Sachs.

“It”s about people who have made brave choices,” Prince Harry said, followed by Meghan finishing his sentence: “To fight for change and to become leaders.”

The Duke of Sussex added: “And giving inspiration to the rest of us. To live to lead.”

The video appears to mark the latest political project the couple has taken on this year. The choice of leaders in the trailer – often described as “liberal” – was spotted by Twitter viewers.

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Supreme Court justice Bader Ginsburg was a fierce advocate for women’s right and her death and Donald Trump’s subsequent nomination of a Republican-leaning justice paved the way for the overruling of women’s rights protection at the federal level.

In the run-up to the midterm elections, Meghan posted a photo of herself calling on her fellow Americans to vote – seemingly opposing Republican-led voter suppression in red states. 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex also sought to “raise awareness” of the plight of separated families at the US-Mexico border under Donald Trump’s controversial immigration policy by “organising” gifts for more than 30 reunified and refugee families this weekend.

Ex-Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin said Meghan Markle could well have a political future with the US Democrats Party due to her “woke” agenda, she said.

‘Live to Lead’ will hit the streaming giant on December 31. 

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