Prince Harry gives surprise speech at US NFL bash - but fails to mention King Charles after cancer diagnosis

9 February 2024, 06:34

Prince Harry has made a surprise speech but did not mention King Charles
Prince Harry has made a surprise speech but did not mention King Charles. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Prince Harry has spoken publicly for the first time since King Charles was diagnosed with cancer - but did not mention his father.

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The Duke of Sussex appeared at the NFL Honours do in Las Vegas to present the Man of the Year Award.

He packed a short speech with quips about American football after walking out to huge cheers in Las Vegas.

But he did not mention his father's health troubles, having just arrived back in the US from a quick trip to London to speak with him.

"I really loved how you stole rugby from us, and you made it your own," he said.

"Instead of passing it backwards, you just pass it forwards. Why not wear pads and a helmet?

Cameron Heyward Wins Walter Payton Man of the Year Award | 2024 NFL Honors

"Of course, have an offence and defence, that makes sense, and why not have a breather every 15 seconds?

"And you know what? Instead of a 10-month season, let's just make it 18 weeks. Genius.

Read more: King Charles doing 'extremely well' as he undergoes cancer treatment, Queen Camilla says

"All kidding aside, what you guys do on and off the field is truly remarkable.

"You are role models for millions. The way you carry yourselves, and in the way you give back."

He presented the award to Cameron Heyward, a defensive tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

He said: "Oh man... Prince freaking Harry. Man, I'm in shock. That's Prince Harry."

Harry presented the Man of the Year award
Harry presented the Man of the Year award. Picture: Alamy

Harry was told about the King's diagnosis in a personal phone call from the monarch. It is still not publicly known what type of cancer he has.

The royal flew from California to London and spoke to the King at Clarence House, where they had a meeting described as "warm".

Read more: Prince William 'appreciates public's kindness' as he addresses King Charles' cancer diagnosis at gala with Tom Cruise

Charles then left for Sandringham while Harry flew back the next day without seeing Prince William.

The two feuding brothers did nothing to repair their relationship, despite Princess Kate's own health troubles.

She is recovering from abdominal surgery and is expected to be out of action until around Easter.

William resumed his royal duties this week, carrying out an investiture at Windsor Castle and attending a fundraiser for the London Air Ambulance with Tom Cruise, where he thanked the public for their support.

Queen Camilla spoke about her husband's condition on Thursday, saying: "He is doing extremely well under the circumstances."

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