Prince Harry Appears in Personal Video Message to Support One of His Longstanding U.K. Charities

The Duke of Sussex has been a patron WellChild, which works to support seriously ill children and their families, since 2007

Prince Harry nominations for the 2023 WellChild Awards
Prince Harry. Photo: WellChild/Twitter

Prince Harry is calling for inspiring children to join the WellChild family.

The Duke of Sussex appeared in a video released on Tuesday by WellChild, the U.K. organization that works to support seriously ill children and their families that he's been a patron of since 2007.

"For the past 15 years that I've been patron, I've been immensely grateful for the work that WellChild does and moved by the stories I hear and the people I meet," he said. "For children and young people with complex medical needs, WellChild provides high-quality care services and the opportunity to thrive at home alongside their families."

Prince Harry asked for nominations for the 2023 WellChild Awards, honoring inspirational children and caretakers who make a difference in their lives.

"Right now, you can play a role in highlighting someone in your life who inspires you," he said. "By nominating someone for a WellChild award, you have the opportunity to introduce someone special to the WellChild family."

Harry continued, "Each year, I so look forward to meeting with the award winners and spreading awareness about this incredible charity. I hope this year, you'll join me and get involved. Nominate someone today."

Prince Harry, 38, and Meghan Markle, 41, were in the U.K. to attend the WellChild Awards when his grandmother Queen Elizabeth died in September.

Meghan previously joined her husband at the annual awards ceremony in 2018 and 2019. At the 2019 awards, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex attended for the first time as parents themselves, having welcomed son Archie Harrison, now 3, earlier that year. Harry revealed in his speech that they knew Meghan was pregnant during their visit the previous year (they had yet to publicly share their news), making their visit even more emotional.

"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…" he said before his voice trailed off as tears welled up in his eyes.

He then put his head down and momentarily paused to collect himself as the crowd applauded him.

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex meet four-year-old Mckenzie Brackley during the annual WellChild awards
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry at WellChild Awards in 2018. Victoria Jones/WPA Pool/Getty

"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 went on. "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," Harry added.

Prince Harry continued to support WellChild from California after the family's move in 2020. The Duke of Sussex made a surprise video call to representatives and some deserving kids from the organization in Dec. 2020.

"You know who you are and don't pretend to be anybody else and because of that you inspire every single nurse, every single caregiver, every single mum, every single dad, every single sibling," Harry told them on the call. "You inspire every single day."

In June 2021, shortly after the birth of daughter Lilibet Diana, Prince Harry attended the WellChild Awards at a private garden party at Kew Gardens in London, where he caught up with pal Ed Sheeran in addition to meeting with the recipients. To keep the event safe for attendees amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the awards were held outdoors.

"Since becoming patron of WellChild in 2007, this organisation and the people within it have held an extraordinarily special place in my heart," he said in a statement. "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."

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Prince Harry 'high-fives' with Christopher Anderson
Prince Harry at WellChild Awards in 2007. Pool/Anwar Hussein Collection/WireImage

He added, "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."

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