“Los Angeles LOVES Prince Harry tonight!” wrote one Hollywood reporter as the Duke of Sussex made his first public appearance since returning to Los Angeles following the funeral of Prince Philip.
Harry took to the stage at Vax Live, a event dubbed “the concert to Reunite the World”, calling on world leaders to promote vaccine equity and distribute jabs equally around the world.
The event boasted a star-studded line up including the likes of singers Jennifer Lopez and Selena Gomez, Hollywood actor Ben Affleck and Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl.
Joe Biden and the First Lady also addressed the crowd in a pre-recorded message.
Harry and Meghan, who was not in attendance, are Campaign Chairs of VAX Live, which “aims to inspire vaccine confidence worldwide and help get the Covid-19 vaccines to everyone, everywhere”.
The Duke experienced the glitz and glam lived by Hollywood’s finest and received an “electric reception” as he took the stage to address a crowd which included health workers and celebrities.
“We are at a defining moment in the global fight against COVID-19”, Harry told the audience as he called the event 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 depth of gratitude, thank you.
“We’re also coming together because this pandemic cannot end unless we act collectively with an unprecedented commitment to our shared humanity,” the Duke added as he called on activists not to rest “until there is fair distribution to every corner of the world.
“None of us should be comfortable thinking that we could be fine when so many others are suffering.
“In reality, and especially with this pandemic, 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,” Harry preached as he received a standing ovation and raptuous applause.
One viewer reportedly commented: “This is how America treats human beings unlike England treats Meghan. Harry belongs to us now.”
“They are the most popular and beloved couple in the world,” claimed another about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex with a third adding: “Well done Prince Harry. We love you.”
The event raised $53.8 million for Covax, a global initiative aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. The funds raised will help to purchase 10.3 million jabs for developing countries.
The concert is due to stream on YouTube on 8 May at midnight UK time.