Bonnie Carroll, who is the founder and president of TAPS, also presented Prince Harry with a "challenge coin"

By Simon Perry
July 02, 2019 04:44 PM
Advertisement

Former army captain Prince Harry was given a symbolic gift for wife Meghan Markle when he added his voice to the call for more mentors to help young people grow their potential across society.

A lapis lazuli bracelet made by Afghan War widows in a partnership that hopes to foster hope and healing with American war widows was placed in the royal dad’s hand as he met delegates at a mentoring meeting set up in the name of his late mother, Princess Diana.

“Oh, lovely,” Harry who did two tours of Afghanistan when he was in the army and army air corps, told Diana Hosford in London on Tuesday.

“It was such a lovely moment,” says Hosford, vice president of veterans’ families’ organization Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors. She told him about her trip to Afghanistan and “the importance of honoring the life and the service with not as much a focus on the death of a hero.”

Prince Harry
Jon Bond - WPA Pool/Getty

Then Bonnie Carroll, who is the founder and president of TAPS, presented him with a “challenge coin.” Wary of protocol, she was slow to hold out her hand but the new dad then asked her to present it to him.

“In military tradition, a coin is placed in the palm of the hand of the person presenting it, and then the recipient shakes that person’s hand and receives the coin in the handshake,” Hosford explains. Harry replied, “I love these,” when Carroll went ahead and handed over the coin the military way.

Carroll spoke to Harry about her late husband, Brigadier General Tom Carroll, and how his death inspired her to set up TAPS to be born 25 years ago.

Gifts for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
Courtesy Diana Hosford
Coin given to Prince Harry
Coin given to Prince Harry

The meeting took place at the first National Youth Mentoring Summit run by the Diana Award charity which brought together young people, industry leaders and experts and business people and government officials. Harry — whose son, Archie, was born May 6 — told the meeting that fatherhood has changed his perspective on setting a good example for those around him.

“I’m struck by a few things today, most of which is the power of the invisible role model,” he said. “The person who may be sitting here today that doesn’t realize that someone looks up to them, that — for that person — you inspire them to be kinder, better, greater, more successful, more impactful.”

Harry continued, “Perhaps it’s the newfound clarity I have as a father, knowing that my son will always be watching what I do, mimicking my behavior, one day maybe even following in my footsteps. But it’s not just my role as a father that shows me that; it’s in the people I see every day that don’t realize how inspirational they are to those watching.”

  • Can’t get enough of PEOPLE’s Royals coverage? Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more!
Prince Harry
Jon Bond - WPA Pool/Getty
Prince Harry
Jon Bond - WPA Pool/Getty

Earlier, Carroll — who proudly wore her Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded by President Barack Obama — had taken her place on the stage to outline how TAPS had been set up to help children and families “find a way to heal” after losing a loved one in the services.

And one of her initiatives had involved veterans in helping to lead grieving young people. “When we asked our military members would they be a mentor to a child, there were lines of people coming forward. They wanted to be there and have an impact to honor those they had lost — by caring for the children they had left behind,” Carroll said.