“Tonight reminds us of how important it is to watch out for each other, to care for each other and to inspire each other. We are incredibly proud to join you in this historic moment in time,” said Prince Harry.
To reveal TIME’s annual list of the world’s most influential people, the magazine brought together prominent faces like Meghan Thee Stallion, Halsey, Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade yesterday for a virtual and socially distanced event.
Aired on ABC, the broadcast also featured a special appearance from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (who themselves were featured on the TIME 100 list in 2018). During the virtual event, which aired on National Voter Registration Day in the United States, the couple appealed to viewers to make sure to vote in the upcoming election.
“We’re six weeks out from the election, and today is Voter Registration Day,” Markle said. “Every four years, we’re told, ‘This is the most important election of our lifetime.’ But this one is. When we vote, our values are put into action, and our voices are heard.”
Prince Harry also encouraged people to be responsible with how they engage with each other online in the run-up to the election.
“As we approach this November, it’s vital that we reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity. What we consume, what we are exposed to, and what we engage with online, has a real effect on all of us.”
Although it’s against protocol for members of the royal family to speak openly about politics, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been increasingly vocal since stepping down from their official roles as senior royals, encouraging people to be more civically engaged during the pandemic as well as during the surge of Black Lives Matter protests over the summer.
In her remarks, Markle also encouraged the public to “honour those who gave us courage this year. Like the scientists, researchers and medical professionals who are leading the fight against COVID-19. Or the countless voices who are speaking out with passion and purpose against injustice and inequality and to those silently marching in solidarity, in peaceful protest to stand for what is just and what is right.”
Harry and Meghan also recognized the importance of the work that the TIME 100 honourees are doing to create a better world in their communities around the globe. “Tonight reminds us of how important it is to watch out for each other, to care for each other and to inspire each other,” Harry said. “We are incredibly proud to join you in this historic moment in time.”
See the full list of 2020’s TIME 100 honourees, which includes The Weeknd, Dapper Dan and Naomi Osaka, here.