Prince Harry and Meghan's nod to New Zealand after being named TIME's most influential people

"They run towards the struggle."

That's one of the reasons Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been named two of the world's most influential people.

Time magazine this morning released their list of the year's 100 most influential people, off the back of the couple's landmark TV interview with Oprah Winfrey and other public efforts after their exit from royal life.

The couple, who share children Archie and Lilibet, appear on the cover of the magazine. Prince Harry wears a black suit, next to Meghan who stands slightly in front of him in a white suit.

The couple's nod to New Zealand

The couple feature in a photoshoot for the magazine, which appears to reference a famous photo of the couple taken during their visit to Aotearoa in October 2018.

Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex walk through a Redwoods forest in Rotorua, New Zealand, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018. Photo / Dean Purcell

"The photos are nearly identical, from their forest surroundings and locked eyes down to Meghan casually placing her left hand in her pocket," People magazine points out.

Jose Andres, a chef and the founder of World Central Kitchen, penned the piece explaining the couple's influence. He begins with a description of a famous interview Prince Harry did in Afghanistan when he was an Apache helicopter gunner, where the Duke comments on royal news when suddenly a bang sounds and he runs towards the action.

"In a world where everyone has an opinion about people they don't know, the Duke and Duchess have compassion for the people they don't know. They don't just opine. They run towards the struggle," Andres adds.

He cites the work for their Archewell Foundation and a "sense of urgency" that the couple share as examples of their global influence.

"Springing into action is not the easy choice for a young Duke and Duchess who have been blessed through birth and talent, and burned by fame. It would be much safer to enjoy their good fortune and stay silent.

"They turn compassion into boots on the ground through their Archewell Foundation. They give voice to the voiceless through media production. Hand in hand with nonprofit partners, they take risks to help communities in need — offering mental-health support to black women and girls in the US, and feeding those affected by natural disasters in India and the Caribbean," Andres adds.

TIME divides its list of 100 most influential people into six separate categories: Icons, Pioneers, Titans, Artists, Leaders and Innovators.

As well as Harry and Meghan, others to feature in the Icons list include tennis player Naomi Osaka, pop star Britney Spears, country music legend Dolly Parton and poet Cathy Park Hong.

Other names in TIME's rundown are singer Billie Eilish, who is named among the Pioneers, Innovators Jada Pinkett Smith and Elon Musk, whilst the Titans feature Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, Apple CEO Tim Cook, NFL Legend Tom Brady and 'Bridgerton' creator Shonda Rhimes.

Kate Winslet, Lil Nas X, Chloe Zhao and Daniel Kaluuya all are included in the Artists section and the Leaders segment has US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

This article was first published by the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission. Additional reporting by Bang Showbiz