A lot can change in a year, and that was certainly on display through the Duke of Sussex at this year’s WellChild Awards on Tuesday. During his speech at the ceremony, Prince Harry got emotional while discussing fatherhood — to the point that he had to stop and compose himself. It was an admitted about-face since Harry and Meghan hadn’t yet revealed Meghan’s pregnancy when they attended the same event last year.
The WellChild Awards honor children and young adults who are struggling with serious illnesses, as well as their caregivers. Harry has attended the ceremony since 2007 as a patron of the organization. But this year was markedly different for the Duke since it’s the first year he has attended as a father, a fact that wasn’t lost on him as he took the stage to give a speech. “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…” Harry said, trailing off as his emotions got the better of him.
Harry struggled to gain his composure as the crowd offered support in the form of applause.
— WellChild (@WellChild) October 15, 2019
When he was able to continue, he shared a moving glimpse into the anxieties he experienced coming into fatherhood. “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,” he said. “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.” Harry continued, “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 was an emotional speech given at what is an inherently emotional event. WellChild also bears special significance to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex that is further associated with baby Archie, as it was one of the four charities they chose to benefit from donations made by the public when their first child was born.
The gravitas of Harry’s speech didn’t permeate his and Meghan’s entire appearance on Tuesday, though. Adorably, the royal parents also shared a few fun new facts about baby Archie. Our favorite? They’re pretty convinced their royal tot will have red hair, gushing, “You can see it in his eyebrows.”