Prince Harry gave a shoutout to his kids Prince Archie, 4, and Princess Lilibet, 2, at the WellChild Awards in the UK.
The Duke of Sussex, who has been a patron of WellChild since 2007, spoke at the annual awards ceremony in London on Thursday. The charity celebrates those who have made strides in advocating for seriously ill children and their families, and Harry has long been a regular at the ceremony.
In 2018 and 2019, his wife Meghan joined him, but this year, she wasn’t able to make an appearance. The prince said that the duchess was “very upset that she couldn’t be [there]” to join him. This year, Harry presented the award for Inspirational Child (aged 4 to 6) to Violet Seymour, and afterward spoke to the attendees on the “joys and challenges that come with parenting”.
In addition to their children Archie and Lilibet, Harry and Meghan are also proud parents of a Beagle named Guy – who the duchess owned before meeting Harry – and a black Labrador named Pula as well as another Beagle named Momma Mia.
In his speech, he said that as a “father of two and three dogs” he was “acutely aware of the joys and challenges that come with parenting, and that’s with kids who aren’t facing health challenges”.
“To the parent carers in this room, you have my sincerest admiration and respect,” the duke continued. “The level of support and responsibility you share daily is unrivaled and without fail. You deserve all the assistance that you need.”
The royal’s WellChild speech wasn’t the only time that he has referred to himself as a parent to both humans and pets alike, having dropped a similar anecdote when he introduced himself on his Netflix series, Heart of Invictus.
“My name’s Harry. On any given day, I’m a dad of two under three-year-olds, got a couple of dogs, [I’m] a husband, I’m founding patron of Invictus Games Foundation.” He added, “There’s lots of hats one wears, but I believe today is all about Invictus.”
While he may consider himself a jack of all trades, the duke is also incredibly sentimental. The last time he attended the WellChild Awards with his wife in 2019, Harry choked up during his speech, saying: “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.”
The duke trailed off as tears welled up in his eyes before continuing: “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.”
“And now, as parents, being here and speaking to all of you pulls at my heartstrings in a way I could have never understood until I had a child of my own,” Harry added.