Prince Harry makes a surprise appearance at the GQ awards and cracks a joke about tuxedos

By Heather Cichowski

Prince Harry looked very dapper as he made a surprise virtual appearance at the 2021 GQ Men of the Year Awards on Sept. 1.

The Duke of Sussex appeared via video link from his Montecito, Calif. home to the awards, which took place at the Tate Modern in London. Harry presented a prize to Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert, Dr. Catherine Green and the rest of the team behind the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

The dad of two gave a speech before he handed out the final award of the evening and touched on the eight-hour time difference between California and England.

"It's not often that one gets a chance to wear a tuxedo at 3 pm – unless of course it's from the night before – but well, here we are," Harry quipped as he sat there in a classic black tuxedo and bow tie.

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In Harry's full speech, he discussed the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the incredible work the Oxford team did in developing a COVID-19 vaccine.

"I’m deeply honoured to be introducing our final awardees, who you’ll immediately recognize for their landmark contribution to the fight against COVID-19," Prince Harry said.

"Their breakthrough research on the Oxford Vaccine has brought the world one of our greatest tools for achieving vaccine equity."

The prince discussed how the team had sent research cultures to India last year as part of the collaborative efforts of developing the vaccine, and he referred to Duchess Meghan and the information they have heard about ending the global health crisis.

"Until every community can access the vaccine, and until every community is connected to trustworthy information about the vaccine, then we are all at risk," Harry elaborated. "That’s a common refrain my wife and I have heard in convenings with vaccine experts, heads of industry, community advocates, and global leaders."

He ended his speech by calling Sarah and Catherine "exceptional people."

"Tonight, we’re not honouring two ordinary people. These are two exceptional people—with a remarkable team—who are a bulwark of humanity," the duke remarked in closing.

Harry makes a speech during the Global Citizen VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World event in May. Photo: © Getty Images

Harry and Meghan have been huge advocates for vaccine equity over the last year. The couple took part in the star-studded Global Citizen VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World in May, during which they made several speeches. They joined the likes of Selena Gomez, Jennifer Lopez, the Foo Fighters and more as they both spoke about the need for COVID-19 vaccines to be accessible to anyone who wants one, worldwide, regardless of economic status.

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