Although Prince Harry is a long-time supporter of the WellChild Awards, this year marked the first instance of him attending since becoming a father. The Duke of Sussex was overcome with emotion as he paused to hold back tears during his speech at the 2019 edition of the event in London.
WellChild Awards ceremony celebrates the accomplishments of seriously ill children in the UK, recognizing their efforts to draw attention to their inspirational qualities as well as those that have gone the extra mile to make a difference to their lives.
In his speech, Harry explained the impact that the birth of his son Archie had on shifting his perspective on the outstanding, selfless work that the charity does and its honorees do.
"It has been over a decade since I first came to these Awards and every year they never fail to surprise and inspire me. Yet this year, it resonates in a different way, because now I'm a father,” said Harry. "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 heartstrings in a way I could have never understood until I had a child of my own."
Touching words from a moved Prince Harry, who has just handed out the awards to @WellChild’s youngest inspirational child winners. As a new father, this year’s #WellChildAwards means even more to him... pic.twitter.com/GqDm6To8lW— Omid Scobie (@scobie) October 15, 2019
The new father stopped himself as he was overcome with emotion before continuing.
"No parent wants to hear that their child will suffer, that they will face extraordinary challenges that will affect them throughout their lives. And yet, after meeting all of the WellChild parents and the kids themselves over the years, you've managed to give all of us a sense of optimism, a sense of hope and strength that no professional, no best-selling book, and no amount of advice can ever give any of us. So thank you for being you."
We cannot help choking back tears ourselves for the immense amount of emotion that Harry evidently feels for his son. His vulnerability and rawness have won our hearts over once again