While Prince Harry has attended the WellChild awards, which honors children dealing with serious illnesses, as well as their caretakers — since 2007, the Duke of Sussex choked back tears as he explained how the event means even more to him now that he is a father.
Prince Harry has long shown his support for WellChild, and frequently meets with many of the sick children and their caretakers, nurses, researchers and volunteers. Every year at the annual WellChild awards, he has taken time to meet each winner and listen to their stories. When his wife, Meghan Markle, gave birth to their first child, Archie, WellChild was one of the four charities the couple asked the public to donate to instead of sending gifts to the family.
On Tuesday, Harry struggled to fight back his tears and took a moment to regain his composure, as he told the crowd that since becoming a father, the stories of the award winners have touched him in a completely different way.
“It has been over a decade since I first came to these awards and every year, they never fail to surprise and inspire me. Yet this year, it resonates in a different way, because now I’m 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,” Harry said, his voice breaking as he choked up with tears.
After the host, Gaby Roslin, stepped in to pat him on the back and the crowd encouraged him on with applauds, he continued.
“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,” Prince Harry said. “And now, as parents, being here and speaking to all of you, it pulls at my heartstrings in a way I could have never understood until I had a child of my own.”
WATCH: Harry is overcome by emotion during his speech at the @WellChild Awards. “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 – and I remember squeezing Meghan’s hand so tight during the awards… pic.twitter.com/tXRtxZRZ7k
— Emily Nash (@emynash) October 15, 2019