Prince Harry said he ‘could not be prouder to be here’ as he delighted sick children with a surprise visit to the WellChild Awards at Kew Gardens this afternoon after leaving self-isolation following five days in quarantine.
The event, which celebrates inspirational young people living with serious illnesses, was originally scheduled for September, but the organisers changed the date to allow the Duke of Sussex – the charity’s patron since 2007 – to attend.
Harry was allowed to leave self-isolation in Windsor after testing negative for
The Duke of Sussex was pictured speaking to children at the garden party and afternoon tea today. He greeted each winner in turn after they accepted their awards on the Sir Joseph Banks Lawn.
Speaking at the event, Harry said he ‘could not be prouder’ to be there, adding that now, as a father of two, he feels ‘all the more connected, inspired and in awe of the resilience of these families’.
His daughter Lilibet Diana was born earlier this month. Meghan Markle – who attended previous years’ awards with Harry prior to their emigration to the US – has remained in their California mansion with the baby and their two-year-old son Archie.
The event was hosted outside to allow a gathering of up to 30 people under UK Covid rules. That number can increase ‘for the purposes of work or volunteering’, official guidelines state.
Addressing the socially-distanced audience, the Duke of Sussex said: ‘Since becoming patron of WellChild in 2007, this organisation and the people within it have held an extraordinarily special place in my heart.
‘I wasn’t a father at the time, and yet the stories of these children and parents transcended that. I didn’t need to be a dad to feel the impact of this invaluable work.
‘Now as a father of two, I feel all the more connected, inspired and in awe of the resilience of these families, who power through indescribable challenges with the support of WellChild.
‘The health of our children, of all of us, could not have been more on the forefront of our minds during the past year.
‘And, throughout this time, the WellChild community has set an example for how to show up and act with compassion for each other.
‘I could not be prouder to be here, to meet this year’s WellChild Award winners, to thank the nurses and doctors for all they do, and to celebrate these amazing families.’
The event – which was cancelled last year due to Covid – played host to a star-studded line-up, including Amanda Holden, Ed Sheeran, dancer AJ Pritchard and singer Anne Marie who performed today.
Prince Harry said he ‘could not be prouder to be here’ as he delighted sick children with a surprise visit to the WellChild Awards at Kew Gardens this afternoon after leaving self-isolation following five days in quarantine
The Duke of Sussex was pictured speaking to children at the event – which was hosted outside to allow a gathering of up to 30 people under UK Covid rules
The event, which celebrates inspirational young people living with serious illnesses, was originally scheduled for September, but the organisers changed the date to allow the Duke of Sussex (pictured at the event) – the charity’s patron since 2007 – to attend
Harry (pictured talking to a family today) flew to London from the US ahead of his awkward reunion with William at tomorrow’s unveiling of Diana’s statue at Kensington Palace
Prince Harry is seen at the event in Kew Gardens today. It was held outside to ensure social distancing could be maintained
Speaking at the event, Harry said he ‘could not be prouder’ to be there, adding that now, as a father of two, he feels ‘all the more connected, inspired and in awe of the resilience of these families’
The event (Prince Harry, pictured) was hosted outside to allow a gathering of up to 30 people under UK Covid rules. That number can increase ‘for the purposes of work or volunteering’, official guidelines state
Prince Harry was seen speaking to people at the event. He looked happy and relaxed ahead of tomorrow’s reunion with his brother
The Duke of Sussex met each winner in turn to congratulate them as they received their award at the event tonight
The event was a garden party with afternoon tea, which took place on the Sir Joseph Banks Lawn at Kew Gardens (Prince Harry at the event, pictured)
Harry is seen talking to Anne Marie – who performed at the awards today – and Ed Sheeran during his visit to Kew Gardens
As she left Kew Gardens, Britain’s Got Talent judge Miss Holden said: ‘It was such a heartwarming day. I met so many lovely children who have suffered.
‘It was inspiring to hear how they have coped during lockdown. Everyone loved it when Anne Marie performed.
‘Prince Harry was very much in the background. He let the children take centre stage and made sure it was all about the children’
Miss Holden said she had been invited as one of the children attending the event was a big fan of Britain’s Got Talent.
At the last WellChild Awards in 2019, which like this year’s event was sponsored by pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, Harry choked up during a speech as he spoke about becoming a father.
A source told
‘His attendance was kept a complete secret and it was an amazing moment when he surprised those in attendance.
‘Harry made sure he spent time talking to as many of the children and their families as possible – as well as care givers who were present at the ceremony.’
Harry left Frogmore Cottage in Berkshire this afternoon and was seen arriving at Kew Gardens in south-west London around an hour later. He spent two hours at the charity event before being driven back to Windsor.
Sources claim he will hold a ‘private meeting’ with Prince William after tomorrow’s unveiling as reports continue of a simmering rift between the brothers.
Meanwhile it was reported the Duke of Cambridge will visit the statue with Kate Middleton and their children for a private moment ahead of its official unveiling, maybe as early as today.
Harry looked pensive as he returned to the UK for the first time since his grandfather Philip’s funeral in April and was pictured arriving at Kew Gardens in a chauffeur-driven Range Rover
The prince was pictured for the first time back in Britain for the unveiling of a statue in his mother’s memory as he was driven from Frogmore Cottage, the home he shared with Meghan before they emigrated
Prince Harry was a surprise guest at the WellChild Awards at the famous botanic gardens in south-west London this afternoon (pictured driving to the event)
Prince Harry spent two hours at the charity event before being driven back to Frogmore Cottage (pictured)
Prince Harry looked ahead as he was driven out of the event. Sources claim he will hold a ‘private meeting’ with Prince William after tomorrow’s unveiling as reports continue of a simmering rift between the brothers
Prince Harry went on his phone as he was driven out of the event in Kew Gardens today. He will attend the unveiling of the Princess Diana statue tomorrow
In 2019, Harry choked up during a speech at the WellChild awards ceremony as he spoke about becoming a father and was comforted by Gabby Logan
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at the last WellChild Awards ceremony. The event is sponsored by pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline
Harry is expected to put aside his differences with brother William to attend the unveiling ceremony at the palace together
The brothers – who last met in person at Prince Philip’s funeral – are understood to have spent ‘weeks’ working out where to place the statue (pictured before its unveiling) in the palace
Harry arrived in the UK on Friday and was staying at Frogmore Cottage (pictured) where he has self isolated for five days
The Duke of Cambridge, 39, and the Duke of Sussex , 36, will stand shoulder to shoulder on Thursday for the unveiling of Diana’s statue to mark what would’ve been her 60th birthday. Pictured: The Princes with their mother in 1992
WellChild: Prince Harry’s beloved patronage that kept him on after Megxit
WellChild is the national charity for seriously ill children and their families. Over 100,000 children and young people are living with serious and complex health conditions.
Many require round-the-clock support and can spend months, if not years, in hospital because there isn’t the support to get them home.
Through a nationwide network of WellChild Children’s Nurses, home makeover projects and family support programmes, WellChild works to give this growing population of children and young people the best chance to thrive – properly supported at home, together with their families.
WellChild was one of the four charities chosen by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex to benefit from donations made by the public on the occasion of the birth of their son, Archie Mountbatten Windsor.
Harry remained a patron of WellChild after he lost a large number of his public patronages following Megxit.
After taking the stage at the last awards in 2019, which was streamed live on the charity’s Facebook page, Harry spoke about how he knew at the previous year’s event that his wife Meghan was pregnant.
As he talked about it he choked back tears and had to stop his speech, with host Gaby Roslin stepping in to pat him on the back, before the crowd cheered at him.
Tomorrow Harry will join his brother Prince William, 39, for the official ceremony to mark what would have been their mother’s 60th birthday.
The brothers have been separated by a rift that began in March 2019 when William threw Harry and Meghan out of Kensington Palace over the alleged bullying of staff, according to royal historian Robert Lacey.
Sources said they will hold a private meeting after the tribute – dubbed an ‘informal’ and ‘beautiful’ memorial – is unveiled,
Harry arrived in the UK on Friday and was staying at Frogmore Cottage where he has self isolated for five days.
Thursday’s statue ceremony in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace – where Diana lived, and which is now home to William and his family – will be a small event.
William and Harry, Diana’s close family and the sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley are among the few attending.
The brothers – who last met in person at Prince Philip’s funeral – are understood to have spent ‘weeks’ working out where to place the statue in the palace.
No details of the statue have been revealed ahead of time, but it is understood to show Diana’s youthful and playful character.
WellChild congratulated the Sussexes’ after the birth of their new daughter, Lilibet. The tweet read: ‘Congratulations to The Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the birth of Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor
Prince Harry and Prince William (together in 2020) will have a ‘private meeting’ after the statue of their late mother Princess Diana is unveiled as reports of a rift between the brothers rages on, sources claim
Pictured, Princess Diana with her sons Prince William and Prince Harry during a holiday with the Spanish royal family at the Marivent Palace in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, August 1987
Prince Harry is said to want to take steps to heal his rift with his brother and his wife but William and Meghan are not willing to budge, a royal biographer claims
Mr Lacey yesterday claimed Harry is ready to admit he’s made mistakes out of ‘sheer temper’ since quitting as a frontline royal but Meghan is ‘sticking to her guns’ and
Claims of a rift between the brothers – which ended with the Sussexes breaking up their joint foundation and setting up a new office at Buckingham Palace – emerged in the historian’s book Battle of Brothers.
It was published before Harry and Meghan went on Oprah to accuse the Royal Family of racism and claim they were abandoned when the
Speaking to Newsweek Mr Lacey said he believes Harry is the only one who may be ready to admit mistakes and contrition for his behaviour over the past two years.
But he claims it may not be reciprocated because William and Kate may feel ‘vindicated’ in having doubts about Harry’s relationship.
He said: ‘On one side we’ve got William who doesn’t seem prepared to concede anything and on the other side friends have told me that Harry wouldn’t mind reconciling and then it’s Meghan who is sticking to her guns on this issue.
‘It should surely be possible for both sides to say the past is in the past. It’s very regrettable that Meghan doesn’t withdraw just a little.
‘Why can’t she say it was the pressure? ‘I was getting used to this incredibly complicated system, I was just pregnant, I couldn’t sleep’… ‘Perhaps in retrospect I went over the top about it’.’
Mr Lacey spoke out as it was claimed William and Harry will not heal their rift this week while the Duke is ‘so under the thumb’ of his wife.
He told Newsweek: ‘Harry is prepared to acknowledge the role that just sheer temper played at unfortunate moments—notably in the so-called blindsiding early in 2020. He actually is prepared to admit, in a way that William doesn’t seem to be.’
But Mr Lacey said he believes there is a way of ‘moving forward’, adding: ‘It’s not as if Meghan’s employing any royal staff anymore, she’s living in a different country.
During the bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview (pictured), Prince Harry referred to his relationship with William amid reports the brothers had fallen out in the wake of Megxit
‘It’s not a live issue so it would be good, it seems to me, if she could find a way of putting it to bed.’
According to biographer Hugo Vickers, any attempts of a reunion in London could result in Prince Harry having to answer for it when he returns to his wife in LA.
‘I don’t know what they can do under the present circumstances,’ he said, speaking to
‘Harry has got to wake up to what’s going on. It’s a very unpleasant situation and I don’t think it’s going to be the right moment this week.
‘Harry is so under the thumb of Meghan it is not really possible until he emerges from that.’
The Royal biographer, who does not think Charles will intervene, said the brothers could speak via videolink or phone but claimed neither Harry or Meghan wanted to.
‘He has thrown in his lot with his wife,’ said Hugo. ‘That’s it, isn’t it? Slagging off his family didn’t help anybody. It’s a dreadful situation.’
He continued: ‘You’ve got to remember that Harry has to return to his wife in Los Angeles. If he starts reconciling, he will get his head bitten off, won’t he?’
The royal expert also went on to say how the tension between the brothers is likely to steal the limelight from the poignant event on Thursday – adding ‘everyone will be focusing on’ the two boys being together.
It will mark the first time Harry has both travelled to Britain and spent time with his brother since the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral at Windsor Castle on April 17.
Meghan has remained at their £11million mansion in Montecito with two-year-old Archie and their second child, Lilibet Diana, who was born 21 days ago.
There he made reference to his relation with William amid reports the brothers had fallen out in the wake of Megxit.
While Harry travelled to the UK on Friday, Meghan has stayed in the US with their two children. Pictured: Prince William, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, attend Commonwealth Day Service 2020
Prince Harry told the talk show host: ‘As I’ve said before, I love William to bits. He’s my brother.
‘We’ve been through hell together. I mean, we have a shared experience. But we’re on different paths.
It came as the Duke of Sussex made his first official appearance since landing in the UK last week in a surprise speech at the virtual Diana Award ceremony.
The Diana Award is a charity set up to reflect the
The charity runs anti-bullying and mentoring programmes and recognises young people’s inspirational work.
In a pre-recorded video, the Duke said: ‘I’d like to start by acknowledging and celebrating the incredible young people joining us today.
‘And wherever you are right now, I want to thank you for being part of this important moment and for being such a valuable asset to your community.
‘I’m truly honoured to be celebrating your work, your commitment to change making and the vital role that you’ve taken on representing a new generation of humanitarianism.’
He continued: ‘Later this week, my brother and I are recognising what would have been our mum’s 60th birthday, and she would be so proud of you all for living authentic life with purpose and with compassion for others.
‘Our mum believed that young people have the power to change the world. She believed in your strength because she saw it day in and day out and in the faces of young people exactly like you, she witnessed a boundless enthusiasm and passion.
‘And to see those same values shine through as it has done for 21 years now, The Diana Award carries her legacy forward by putting young people at the centre of our future. And this has never been more important.’
The Duchess of Sussex has stayed in the US with Archie and Lilibet.
Prince William and Prince Harry have historically been close throughout their lives but tensions grew after Harry married American actress Meghan Markle before moving to live in the US and making bombshell claims in the Oprah interview
Relations between the two brothers (pictured in 1995 with their mother Diana) after Harry criticised his father Charles and said William and the family were trapped which Harry and Meghan also accused one unnamed royal of making a racist remark
Harry added: ‘And Meg and I fundamentally believe that our world is at the cusp of change, real change for the good of all. But the question before us is what that change will look like.
‘The Covid-19 crisis exposed severe inequities and imbalances around the world. We saw the disproportionate effect of this pandemic on communities of colour, on women, on underserved communities and on less wealthy countries.
‘We’ve seen and unless we take swift action, we will continue to see a disparity in our humanitarian and moral obligation to vaccinate the world.
‘There is great need for young leadership and there is no greater time to be a young leader. I believe in you. We believe in you.
And that belief in your own ability to change the world in doing the right thing is what makes you a force to be reckoned with.’
He added: ‘To all the 2021 Diana Award recipients thank you for inspiring us with your brilliance, your determination and your compassion, your actions hold the potential to leave a life changing impact. You are putting the ‘do’s’ behind the ‘say’s’, and this is the personification of our mother’s legacy.
‘To everyone else watching. I’m hopeful that today’s Award recipients have inspired you to be part of a future where humanity is cherished, where our communities are supported and uplifted, and where we are considerate and compassionate to each other, both online and off.
‘Never be afraid to do what’s right. Stand up for what you believe in and trust that when you live by truth and in service to others, people will see that just as they did with my mum.’
For most of their lives, the royal brothers have been close, united by the shared trauma of losing their mother who died aged 36 in a 1997 Paris car crash when William was 15 and Harry 12.
But since Harry’s 2018 wedding to his American actress wife, relations between them have soured and an explosive interview that the couple gave chat show host Oprah Winfrey in March marked a new low.
In it, Harry, now 36, criticised his father Charles and said William, 39, and the family were trapped, while the couple accused one unnamed royal of making a racist remark.
Prince Harry spoke at the virtual award ceremony which recognised dozens of young people for their extraordinary work
Biographer Mr Lacey said in April the brothers quarrelled in the immediate aftermath of the funeral of Prince Philip, their grandmother Queen Elizabeth’s husband of more than 70 years, and there was no sign of any improvement.
‘The conflict between Diana’s two bitterly divided sons does not seem likely to end any time soon,’ he wrote in the Daily Mail, adding that friends and family were trying to forge a reconciliation.
This week’s unveiling in London of the statue, which the princes commissioned four years ago to celebrate Diana’s life, provides a rare opportunity for such a rapprochement, with Harry returning from his new home in the United States.
‘Unless one of them is going to say sorry, and I think that probably has to be Harry, I can’t see this relationship at the moment mending itself,’ royal commentator Penny Junor said.
‘My understanding is the boys are not speaking to one another, certainly not in the way brothers normally speak,’ she said.
Harry told Winfrey their relationship was ‘space at the moment’, but hoped time would heal it.
‘I love William to bits, he’s my brother, we’ve been through hell together and we have a shared experience. But we’re on different paths,’ he said.
The Daily Telegraph reported that William would take his wife Kate and their three children George, Charlotte and Louis, for a private viewing of the statue before its official unveiling as they will not be present on the day.
The Diana Award recognised dozens of recipients who have achieved remarkable change and carried out inspirational work in the past year.
Among the winners were Mashal Aamir, from the University of Glasgow, who works to equip women living by the Pakistan-Afghanistan border with economic skills to increase their independence.
She continues to empower marginalised voices through her writing and collaborations, while training to be a barrister.
George Barker, 25, from the Wirral, has been recognised because he has volunteered with Sexpression:UK for the last seven years, working to improve sex education in secondary schools.
He has facilitated fun and interactive sessions in schools to over 300 young people, trained over 100 volunteers to deliver these classes and is empowering young people to make educated, safer choices about relationships and sex.
Tessy Ojo, Chief Executive of The Diana Award, said: ‘We warmly congratulate our new Diana Award recipients from the UK and across the world who are changemakers for their generation.
‘It is especially poignant as we mark what would have been Princess Diana’s 60th birthday. In a year that has seen young people’s lives disrupted by the Pandemic it is even more important that we honour, celebrate but also invest in young people, from across the world, who through their selfless trailblazing efforts have changed lives in their communities.
‘We know by receiving this honour they will inspire more young people to get involved in their communities and begin their own journey as active citizens.’
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