Britain’s Prince Harry didn’t win a lot of new American fans over comments he made trashing the United States during a speech at the UN, which, for the record, sits on U.S. soil.
The self-exiled royal, who made the U.S. his adopted home, ripped the country over an alleged “rolling back of constitutional rights,” a swipe at recent Supreme Court rulings that actually served to uphold the Constitution and rule of law.
Harry appeared to be referring to the Supreme Court’s recent 6-3 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization — which resulted in a 5-4 decision overturning landmark abortion cases Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey — and he called the erosion of rights part of “a global assault on democracy and freedom.”
#BREAKING: At the United Nations, Prince Harry calls out "the rolling back of Constitutional rights in the United States" as part of "a global assault on democracy and freedom." pic.twitter.com/RnJNmkPDcp
— Forbes (@Forbes) July 18, 2022
Speaking to the UN general assembly in New York, Harry referenced climate change and how it is “wreaking havoc on our planet,” as well as the weaponization of “lies and disinformation at the expense of the many.”
One of the most potent statements made during his speech was a comparison between the overturning of constitutional rights in the U.S. and the war in Ukraine.
“From the horrific war in Ukraine to the rolling back of constitutional rights here in the United States, we are witnessing a global assault on democracy and freedom—the cause of Mandela’s life,” he said.
The pushback was immediate and widespread.
“The speech was confusing and wildly insulting to the undoubtedly few Americans, who may have been watching,” Meghan McCain wrote in a column for the UK’s Daily Mail.
“According to Prince Harry, counted among the worst catastrophes plaguing the world right now are the coronavirus pandemic, climate change, lies and disinformation, the war in Ukraine and… the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe versus Wade. Or at least, that’s what his audience was left to believe.”
“Excuse me? Which one of these is not like the other?” she added.
“COVID has killed more than 6.3 million people worldwide. The war in Ukraine has killed tens of thousands. And the Supreme Court handed down a decision consistent with a widespread interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.
“Those are not in the same league,” she continued.
She then went on to state that “just because one may disagree with the outcome of a Supreme Court ruling, does not make it a threat to democracy.”
Others criticized Harry online.
“The Brit’s opinion stopped mattering in 1776. Next,” conservative commentator Kambree noted.
The Brit’s opinion stopped mattering in 1776. Next.
— Kambree (@KamVTV) July 18, 2022
“First, sonny, piss off,” @irishspy tweeted. “Second, I believe you come from a nation wherein people can get police visits for saying mean things on the Internet and reading Churchill aloud, so don’t lecture us about freedom.”
Mixed martial artist and Special Forces veteran Tim Kennedy added, “A prince from the British Royal family is telling Americans that they should be disarmed …”
— Tim Kennedy (@TimKennedyMMA) July 18, 2022
“To use the British vernacular: ‘Sod off you twat!’” Dr. Sebastian Gorka added.
Harry has also criticized one of the U.S. Constitution’s most fundamental protections: Freedom of Speech.
Speaking to comedian Dax Shepard on his “Armchair Expert” podcast, Harry took aim at the First Amendment: “I’ve got so much I want to say about the First Amendment as I sort of understand it, but it is bonkers. I don’t want to start going down the First Amendment route because that’s a huge subject and one which I don’t understand because I’ve only been here a short time. But, you can find a loophole in anything. You can capitalize or exploit what’s not said rather than uphold what is said.”