Harry breaks down at WellChild Awards as he recalls moment during Meghan's pregnancy

15 October 2019, 23:32 | Updated: 16 October 2019, 09:31

An emotional Prince Harry broke down on stage at an awards ceremony for inspirational children as he spoke about his journey to fatherhood.

The Duke of Sussex fought back tears during his speech at the WellChild Awards in central London as he recalled a special moment with his wife Meghan at last year's event.

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.

"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.

"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."

Harry was applauded by the audience after pausing his speech to compose himself and was comforted on stage by co-host Gaby Roslin.

The duke is patron of WellChild which helps seriously ill children spend time out of hospital and return home to be with their families.

He was later joined on stage by Meghan after the couple spent time with all 10 young winners during an hour-long meet and greet before the ceremony started.

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The duchess revealed their infant son Archie had spent his first day at playgroup in Windsor on Tuesday - and that he takes after his flame-haired father.

Meghan told award winner Milly Sutherland, 11, and her mother Angela from Liverpool: "I just took Archie for his first [playgroup] class. It was a lot of fun. He loved it."

After meeting the royals, Milly and her mother spoke about asking the couple whether Archie has red hair.

Milly's mother said: "Meghan said he has and Harry said he definitely is, you can see it in his eyebrows."

Oakley Orange, 13, from Rochester in Kent, said Harry encouraged the youngster to take part in a bungee jump - much to the surprise of his mother, Lorraine.

Oakley, who had to learn to walk and talk again after suffering organ failure as a seven-year-old, said he interrupted his mother "talking about something long and boring" to give the duke a high-five.

Of the bungee-jump idea, Oakley said: "Harry said I'd have about 10-15 years of thinking it was a good idea before I changed my mind.

"He said he didn't want to encourage me... but he did, really.

"I'll get it booked next week. They're royals, you kind of have to do what they say."