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Prince Harry breaks down recalling how he felt being an expectant father

/ 02:26 PM October 18, 2019
Prince Harry, Meghan Markle

Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, arrive to attend the WellChild Awards Ceremony in London, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019. The WellChild Awards celebrate the inspiring qualities of some of the country’s seriously ill young people.  Image: AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

Prince Harry gave way to his emotions at the WellChild awarding ceremony on Tuesday, Oct. 15, in London, England, as he recalled experiencing fears arising from being an expectant father to his first child. The WellChild Awards honors seriously ill children who make a difference.

The royal, who became a dad to baby Archie in May, broke down as he recalled imagining what it would be like to be a parent in the same awards ceremony held in September 2018. He and his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, had yet to announce the pregnancy at the time.

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This evening, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attended the annual #WellChildAwards in London. WellChild aims to ensure every child and young person living with serious health needs has the best chance to thrive with the support and medical care needed in the comfort of their own home. The Duke of Sussex became Patron of WellChild in 2007, and last year both The Duke and Duchess attended the awards to honour the children and families that WellChild supports. The Duke, who first came to these awards over a decade ago, shared in his remarks tonight: “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 tightly 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 heart strings in a way I could have never understood until I had a child of my own.” • To find out more about tonight’s event and how you can support this very special organisation, please visit @WellChild Photos ©️ PA images

A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal) on

“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,” he told the audience.

“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. He then paused as he became visibly emotional and appeared to be teary-eyed. At this point, the audience cheered for him.

After recovering his composure, he apologized and continued with his speech. “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.” 

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“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,” he said.

He praised the parents and children for their actions in the face of illness. “No parent wants to hear that their child will suffer, that they will face extraordinary challenges that will affect them throughout their lives.”

“And yet, after meeting all of the WellChild parents and the kids themselves over the years, you’ve managed to give all of us a sense of optimism, a sense of hope and strength that no professional, no bestselling book and no amount of advice can ever give any of us. So thank you for being you.”

The winners include Dexter Spence, a 6-year-old with leukemia whose drawing of him and his sister under a rainbow has become a t-shirt design that raises money for charity; and Mia Thorne, a 12-year-old with cerebral palsy who ice skates and is an ambassador to two charities.

The Duke of Sussex has been a patron of children’s charity WellChild since 2007.  /ra

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TAGS: British Royal family, Charity, Fatherhood, Meghan Markle, Parenting, Prince Harry, WellChild
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