Before the royal couple handed out the prizes at the Endeavour Fund Awards, they met with the inspiring nominees as well as participants and key supporters at a pre-ceremony reception
Before the royal couple handed out the prizes at the Endeavour Fund Awards on Thursday, they met with the inspiring nominees as well as participants and key supporters at a pre-ceremony reception.
As they moved around the party, Harry was heard telling one invitee, “There’s a heavy baby in there!”
Meanwhile, Meghan kept a hand close to her baby bump and said about her husband, “He’s going to be the best dad.”
Actor and documentary maker Ross Kemp acted as host for the evening – and even got a chance to speak with Meghan, 37, and Harry, 34, about another family member: their Labrador puppy!
“We talked about how they’ve got a puppy, and we got a puppy before we had our first boy,” said Kemp. “It’s a preparation for nappy changing and pooing basically.”
Kemp looked emotional as Harry, a former British Army captain, praised him for his documentaries he made about soldiers fighting in Afghanistan.
“He said it changed public opinion in terms of the sympathy towards the soldiers in the ground,” Kemp explained. “He was saying it helped bring awareness. It was actually nice to be banked by someone like him who’s been there himself and seen and done it.”
Kept added, “If you look at A-listers in the world, there probably aren’t many bigger than those two. They are down-to-earth, very warm, very decent human beings who care. They could potentially be a massive catalyst for great change — not just in the U.K. but around the world.”
Kelly Ganfield, a visually impaired runner who has taken part in two Invictus Games, won the Recognizing Achievement award. She met with Meghan and Harry at the pre-ceremony reception, a reunion from when she first met them during Invictus Games trials.
Ganfield remembered that at the trials, Harry put on glasses that allow him to see what she see every day. He also had Meghan try the glasses on.
She also recalled how Meghan bonded with her 3-year-old daughter Bethany, who has cerebral palsy.
“Bethany gravitated to her, and she kind of gravitated to Bethany. She has cerebral palsy. Meghan was amazing with her,” she said. “And [Harry] was beaming — but he’s always like that.”
Ganfield added, “My little girl has created a little painting for Meghan and Prince Harry. She is telling everybody ‘Happy new year’ as she’s learning how to speak and to walk and everything. She’s done the painting which will be handed to them, and it just says ‘Happy new year’ and it’s got her name on.”
Meghan, whose friends are speaking out to PEOPLE this week for the first time, smiled and held hands with Harry as they entered Draper’s Hall in London’s financial district for the Endeavour Fund Awards.
The royal mom-to-be was completely at ease as she stunned in a bespoke outfit by Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy, her wedding dress designer. The ensemble featured a white top with a collar and rolled up sleeves as well as a black skirt. Meghan paired the outfit with another one of her go-to brands, Aquazzura, with their Aquazzura Rendez Vous 105 Suede Pump. She carried a Givenchy black clutch – the same one which she previously used at the Royal Ascot in June – and pulled her hair back into a polished low bun to complete her glam look.
The Duchess of Sussex’s longtime friend tells PEOPLE that Meghan is “self-service” and acts as her own beauty team.
“Except for her wedding, she does all her own makeup. Dresses herself, styles herself,” the friend shares.
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Meghan and Harry are there to hand out two of the three prizes during the ceremony. Former army captain Harry will also make a speech.
The awards, set up by the Royal Foundation overseen by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and celebrating its third year, recognize serving and former service members who have used athletics or adventure to challenge themselves as part of their recovery and rehabilitation.