Harry reveals he 'rolls on floor in hysterics with Meghan and Archie' during lockdown

16 April 2020, 12:15

Harry has given a glimpse into his new life in the US
Harry has given a glimpse into his new life in the US. Picture: WellChild/SussexRoyal

By Kate Buck

The Duke of Sussex has given a small glimpse into his new life in California during a video-call with families caring for seriously-ill children during the coronavirus pandemic.

Prince Harry listened to other parent's experiences and challenges with social isolation and the fears of those who are reliant on carers helping with round-the-clock medical care.

Harry is the patron of WellChild, having kept the role since quitting as a working royal and moving to Los Angeles with the Duchess of Sussex and their 11-month-old son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.

Speaking about his own experiences, Harry said he sometimes felt guilty about having so much family time.

"I can't even begin to imagine how hard it is for you guys," he said, referencing his own experience of "having one kid at 11 months old".

He added: "There are a hell of a lot of positives happening. Being able to have family time - so much family time that you almost think 'Do I feel guilty having so much family time?'

"But you have got to celebrate those moments when you are just rolling around on the floor in hysterics."

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Prince Harry has been speaking with other parents about their experiences with lockdown
Prince Harry has been speaking with other parents about their experiences with lockdown. Picture: WellChild

The Duke also heard how many, who have not been included on vulnerable lists, were struggling to access support and basic supplies.

Harry called on the Government to do more to help the families - a stance that would have been difficult as a working HRH - during the 30-minute chat.

Harry praised the families as "super parents" for their commitment to their children's needs.

The duke said: "You are asked to do extraordinary things every single day. How you do it I will never know... Talk about super parents - super mums, super dads. It's amazing."

He added: "I have so much respect for all you guys."

The duke asked to see the children and sent a message of encouragement to the families.

Watch the full exchange with Prince Harry and parents of WellChild below

"Full respect to every single one of you. This is hard on everyone, but it is especially hard on you. I know that WellChild are doing everything they can to support you," the duke said.

He added: "Hopefully, through this video and other things we can make it more clear and obvious to Government and everybody else that you guys are in the 'vulnerable' bracket and WellChild needs more help.

"It is really nice to see you all smiling and happy. Keep going, keep the morale up, keep yourselves busy, keep being creative, dare yourself to try new hobbies and I hope to see you all again very, very soon."

The Queen's grandson also spoke about how he coping with lockdown, saying: "Not too bad. I think it's certainly strange times.

"Everyone is experiencing the same thing in a very unique way. The longer this goes on for I imagine the harder it is for each and every one of you."

Prince Harry is now living in Los Angeles with Meghan and their son Archie
Prince Harry is now living in Los Angeles with Meghan and their son Archie. Picture: SussexRoyal

Among those on the call were Craig Hatch from Cockermouth in Cumbria who cares for his 21-year-old son Fraser who has cerebral palsy, epilepsy, neuro-muscular scoliosis, osteoporosis, chronic lung disorder and type 1 diabetes.

Mr Hatch said: "It's scary. We are frightened because we know that if the virus gets in our house and if Fraser contracts the virus, the implications are quite severe."

WellChild nurse Rachel Gregory, who supports children and young people who require long term ventilation across Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Derbyshire, highlighted the worries that families have about letting external carers into their home.

Ms Gregory said: "These children need round-the-clock care, 24 hours a day. You can't expect parents to do that on their own.

"They have to open their doors at this vulnerable time to external carers, which is a huge concern for them."

She also told the duke about the shortage of Personal Protective Equipment.

"The guidelines come out, but often the supply seems to be lacking or slow to be fulfilled. If we can get that as an issue sorted, first and foremost, then there can be an element of reassurance for families and for the carers that they can carry on," she said.

Archie will turn one next month
Archie will turn one next month. Picture: PA

Leanne Cooper from Lincoln, whose 13-year-old daughter Sophie has cerebral palsy, dystonia, scoliosis and multiple complex medical needs and has to take 45 medications a day, said of her experience during lockdown: "It's terrifying in a nutshell."

She added: "If we're in a position where carers can't come to work because they might be symptomatic, there is no way we would survive when Sophie needs care seven nights a week, seven days a week, 24 hours a day."

WellChild is the national charity for sick children.