He’s typically cool, calm and composed, but on Tuesday night Prince Harry left his audience stunned after he visibly broke down while delivering a heartfelt speech.
The Duke of Sussex was so overcome with emotion mid-way through addressing the crowd at the WellChild awards in London that he was forced to stop speaking altogether.
With tears in his eyes, the 35-year-old choked up while recounting a very special moment in his life, prompting his co-host at the event to come to his aid.
Harry’s teary breakdown
The royal, who is WellChild’s charity patron, had taken to the stage to present the ‘Most Inspirational Child’ award and deliver a short speech which was live-streamed on Facebook.
The dad-to-one became overwhelmed when he opened up about how this year’s awards ‘resonate in a different way’ because he’s now a father.
“Last year when my wife and I attended we knew we were expecting our first child - no one else did at the time, but we did,” he said.
At this point, the prince’s voice cracks and he is physically overcome, clutching the podium and dropping his head forward.
Sensing his distress, Harry’s co-host, English television presenter and actress Gaby Roslin, steps forward to place a comforting hand on his arm.
After a few moments, the duke recovers himself somewhat and straightens up, apologising to the audience with a ‘sorry’ before continuing his speech.
“And I remember squeezing Meghan’s hand so tight during the awards, both of us thinking what it would be like to be parents one day, and more so, what it would be like to do everything we could to protect and help our child should they be born with immediate challenges or become unwell over time,” he went on.
“And now talking to all of you as a parent pulls at my heartstrings, in a way I never could have understood, until I had a child of my own. No parent wants to hear that their child will suffer, that they will face extraordinary challenges - that will affect them throughout their lives,” he added.
“After meeting all the WellChild kids and parents over the years you have managed to give us a sense of optimism, of hope and of strength that no professional, no best selling book or advice could ever give us - so thank you for being you,” he concluded.
The duke and duchess formally announced their first pregnancy on October 15, 2018, while in Sydney on their royal tour down under. They welcomed a baby boy, Archie, on May 6 this year.
According to the WellChild Awards’ official website, the event “celebrates the inspirational qualities of the UK’s seriously ill children and young people, along with those who go that extra mile to make a difference to their lives”.
Harry and Meghan chose WellChild as one of the four charities that would benefit from the public’s donations following Archie’s birth.
Hidden message in Meghan’s outfit
After his teary speech, Harry was joined on stage by wife Meghan for photographs, with the duchess wearing an outfit with a few hidden messages.
The royal threw back to another milestone in her life with Harry by sporting the same bottle green P.A.R.O.S.H dress she wore to during the 2017 TV interview in which the pair announced their engagement.
She topped her dress with another wardrobe favourite from 2017, a camel coat by Sentaler which she rugged up in for her first Christmas church service at Sandringham.
Meghan finished off her look with a tortoiseshell bag and light brown Manolo Blahnik heels.
Archie’s big milestone
At a pre-ceremony reception earlier in the evening, the royal couple met and chatted with the young award winners and their families, one of whom gifted the new parents with a romper for five-month-old Archie.
During these informal chat, proud mum Meghan revealed her son had recently achieved a big milestone.
“I just took Archie for his first [playgroup] class. It was a lot of fun. He loved it,” Meghan reportedly told one girl and her mother.
The bub’s playgroup is said to have taken place in Windsor, near the Sussexes’ home Frogmore Cottage, on Tuesday.
‘Embarrassing’ social media gaffe
Earlier this week, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle set tongues wagging yet again over a recent social media post.
On Monday, the couple posted a famous quote to their Instagram account, @sussexroyal, as they’ve been doing for several months now.
This most recent quote was by late American poet, singer and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou, and was an inspiring call-to-arms for women to support one another which echoes the duchess’ own beliefs.
“Each time a women [sic] stands up for herself without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women,” read Maya’s quote.
A royal proofreader
Despite the quote’s powerful message, the royal’s some 9.6 million followers have taken issue with the post - and it’s all over a typo.
Eagle-eyed fans zeroed in on a spelling error in the first few words as the word ‘women’ should, in fact, be spelt ‘woman’ as many, many people pointed out in the comments section.
“Proofreading only takes a second but it’s always worth it,” wrote one.
“Who do I talk to about the ‘e’?” asked another.
“Each time a WOMAN stands up. Who writes these? #proofread,” chastised another.
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