Prince Harry and Meghan mourn ‘beloved icon’ Desmond Tutu as Queen lead tributes

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle morn the loss of Archbishop Desmond Tutu who died today aged 90.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex hailed the Apartheid hero as an "icon" who was "beloved around the world."

The Queen and Barack Obama also paid tribute to the human rights hero.

Archbishop Tutu who was the last surviving South African laureate of the Nobel Peace Prize was an outspoken critic of the country's previous brutal system of oppression against the country's Black majority.

Harry and Meghan who met the activist in 2019, shared a statement following his death.

The wrote: "Archbishop Tutu will be remembered for his optimism, his moral clarity and his joyful spirit.

"He was an icon for racial justice and beloved across 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 joked, his infectious laughter ringing through the room, relaxing anyone in his presence.

"He remained a friend and will be sorely missed by all.”

During a visit to South Africa, Harry and Meghan met the Archbishop and his daughter Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe.

At the time the couple son Archie was four-months-old and can be seen high-fiving the Archbishop as his daughter joked that he will "be a ladies' man."

Meghan added he was an "old soul" as Archie happily played with a camera.

Following their meeting the Sussex's shared a sweet photo of the Archbishop giving Archie a kiss on his forehead.

They penned: "Thank you Archbishop Tutu for your incredibly warm hospitality, Archie loved meeting you!"

The tributes for the activist were led by the Queen who said she and the entire royal family are "deeply saddened" by his passing.

Her Majesty's statement read: “I am joined by the whole Royal Family in being deeply saddened by the news of the death of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a man who tirelessly championed human rights in South Africa and across the world.

“I remember with fondness my meetings with him and his great warmth and humour.

"Archbishop Tutu’s loss will be felt by the people of South Africa, and by so many people in Great Britain, Northern Ireland and across the Commonwealth where he was held in such high affection and esteem.”

President Joe Biden also mourned as he said he is "heartbroken to learn of the passing of a true servant of God and of the people.

"His legacy transcends borders and will echo through the ages."

Former US President Barack Obama paid tribute 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 concerned with injustice everywhere."

"He never lost his impish sense of humour and willingness to find humanity in his adversaries, and Michelle and I will miss him dearly."

The Archbishop leaves his wife Mam Leah Tutu, his four children and several grandchildren behind.

In 1984, the activist was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his campaign of non-violent opposition to South Africa's white minority rule.

Tutu was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the late 1990s and in recent years he was hospitalised on several occasions to treat infections associated with his treatment.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also paid tribute, he 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 struggle to create a new South Africa – and will be remembered for his spiritual leadership and irrepressible good humour."

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