“Tonight is a reminder of how important it is to look out for one another, care for one another and inspire one another. We are extremely proud to join you at this historic moment in time, ”said Prince Harry.
To reveal TIME’s annual list of the world’s most influential people, the magazine yesterday brought together prominent faces like Meghan Thee Stallion, Halsey, Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade for a virtual and socially distant event.
Airing on ABC, the show also featured a special appearance by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (who themselves were on the TIME 100 list in 2018). During the virtual event, which aired on National Voter Registration Day in the United States, the couple called on viewers to make sure they cast their ballot in the next election.
“We’re six weeks away from the election, and today is voter registration day,” said Markle. “Every four years we are told, ‘This is the most important election of our life.’ But this one is. When we vote, our values are put into action and our voices are heard. “
Prince Harry also urged people to be responsible for how they engage with each other online as elections approach.
“As November approaches, it is essential that we reject hate speech, misinformation and negativity online. What we consume, what we are exposed to and what we interact with online has a real effect on all of us. “
Although it is against protocol for members of the Royal Family to speak openly about politics, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been making their voice heard more and more since they left their official duties as members of the Royal Family , encouraging people to be more civically engaged during the pandemic as well as during the wave of Black Lives Matter protests over the summer.
In her remarks, Markle also urged the audience to “pay tribute to those who have given us courage this year. Like the scientists, researchers and health professionals who are leading the fight against COVID-19. Or the countless voices that speak with passion and determination against injustice and inequality and to those who walk silently in solidarity, in peaceful protest to stand up for what is right and what is just.
Harry and Meghan also recognized the importance of the work the TIME 100 winners are doing to create a better world in their communities across the globe. “Tonight reminds us of how important it is to look out for each other, care for each other and inspire each other,” Harry said. “We are extremely proud to join you in this historic moment.”
Check out the full list of 2020 TIME 100 winners, which includes The Weeknd, Dapper Dan and Naomi Osaka, here.