The Duchess of Sussex made a surprise appearance during the finale of America’s Got Talent as she delivered a video message for a contestant who was wrongfully imprisoned for 36 years.
American singer Archie Williams, 59, made headlines following his audition on the reality TV series earlier this year, as he revealed he had spent more than three decades in prison for a crime he did not commit.
Referencing the fact that Williams shares a name with her son, who celebrated his first birthday earlier this year, Meghan said: “I just wanted to let you know that we’ve been so moved by your story and we have been cheering you on every week – and it’s not just because we’re partial to the name!
“So, a very special message to you that I’ll probably be saying all of my life, but on this night it is specifically for you: Archie, we are proud of you and we are rooting for you, and we can’t wait to see what you do.
“We’re in your corner, have a good night.”
Judge Simon Cowell was moved to tears by Williams’s story during his audition earlier this year and in May tweeted a video of his rendition of Sir Elton John’s Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me, and wrote: “This is Archie Williams. I will never forget this audition for the rest of my life. And I’ll never listen to this song in the same way ever again”.
Williams was convicted in 1983 at the age of 22 and sentenced to life without parole.
After 24 years of effort by the Innocence Project, fingerprint analysis proved he was innocent and he was released after all his convictions were vacated and charges dismissed.
His story inspired Cowell to become an ambassador for the charity, which works to exonerate the wrongly convicted.
The series was eventually won by spoken word poet Brandon Leake and Cowell was absent from the final stage of the competition as he continues to recover from a back injury.
Meghan’s appearance on US television comes just hours after she was joined by her husband the Duke of Sussex in a video encouraging people to vote in the upcoming US elections.
Harry has faced a backlash amid claims of political interference as he remains sixth in line to the throne despite stepping down as a senior working royal.
Members of the royal family traditionally do not vote or become involved in elections or political matters and the Queen, as a constitutional head of state, is politically neutral.
The couple relocated to the US earlier this year after they stepped back from royal duties in a bid for personal and financial freedom.