Prince Harry breaks down while praising 'inspirational' children at awards ceremony

15 October 2019, 21:03

Prince Harry with co-host Gaby Roslin
Prince Harry with co-host Gaby Roslin. Picture: PA

By Megan White

Prince Harry broke down as he was overcome with emotion while paying tribute to "inspirational" children at an awards ceremony.

The Duke of Sussex spoke about his own journey into fatherhood, and how it meant learning about those with serious illnesses "pulls at my heartstrings".

His wife, Meghan, also revealed their son Archie had attended his first playgroup class in Windsor this week.

Speaking at the WellChild awards in central London, the Duke was comforted by co-host Gaby Roslin as he paused, mid-speech, with his voice cracking.

He said: "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.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arriving at the awards on Tuesday
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arriving at the awards on Tuesday. Picture: PA

"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 heartstrings in a way I could have never understood until I had a child of my own."

It came as the Duchess confirmed their infant son had spent his first day at playgroup in Windsor on Tuesday - and that he takes after his flame-haired father.

Meghan, believed to be wearing the bottle green dress she wore during her 2017 interview announcing their engagement, told one girl and her mother: "I just took Archie for his first [playgroup] class. It was a lot of fun. He loved it."

Harry and Meghan were chatting to Milly Sutherland, 11, and her mother Angela from Liverpool.

The 50-year-old said: "She took him to one of these baby classes today and she said they had loads of fun together. She said it was really good fun."

The Royal couple pose with the WellChild Award winners
The Royal couple pose with the WellChild Award winners. Picture: PA

The mum and daughter asked 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.”

The royal couple spent time with all ten young winners during an hour-long meet and greet before the ceremony started.

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."