Watch: Prince Harry pays tribute to late Queen at award ceremony

Prince’s tribute to his grandmother at WellChild Awards on eve of her death’s anniversary EuRdp5lUPf8

The Duke of Sussex said he was certain his late grandmother was looking down on him, happy that he was continuing his charity work on the eve of the first anniversary of her death.

Prince Harry, 38, appeared on stage at the WellChild Awards in London to pay tribute to the “tremendous strength and spirit” shown by seriously ill children.

He had been due to attend the ceremony on September 8 last year but pulled out as Elizabeth II’s health deteriorated and he raced to be by her side.

“As you know, I was unable to attend the awards last year when my grandmother passed away,” he told those gathered for the annual event at The Hurlingham Club in south-west London on Thursday evening.

“As you also probably know, she would have been the first person to insist I still come to be with you all instead of going to her and that’s precisely why I know, exactly one year on, that she is looking down on all of us tonight, happy we’re continuing to spotlight such an incredible community.”

The Duke of Sussex presents the Inspirational Child 4-6 award to Violet Seymour Credit: Yui Mok/PA

The Duke said that as a father of two children and three dogs, he was “acutely aware” of the many joys and challenges that come with parenting, acknowledging that at the same time, he did not have to cope with health challenges.
“So to the parent-carers in this room, you have my sincerest admiration and respect,” he added.

“The level of support and responsibility you share daily is unrivalled, and without fail, you deserve all the assistance that you need. It is our collective responsibility to continue to provide new and existing resources for you to advocate on your behalf and to help in any way that we can.”

The Duke’s appearance marked the first time he had returned to the UK since he gave evidence at his high-profile legal case against Mirror Group Newspapers at the High Court in June.
He flew over from California shortly before the event and from London, he will head straight to Dusselfdorf for the Invictus Games, which begins on Saturday.
There, he will be joined next week by his wife, Meghan.

On Friday, he will mark the anniversary of his grandmother’s death privately. However, he was not expected to see his father or brother during the brief visit.

Harry has been patron of WellChild for 15 years and said the award ceremony, which celebrates the achievements of sick children, was an event he looked forward to every year.

“Your collective stories of strength, compassion and perseverance are inspiring to not only those in this room, but to many far and wide,” he said. “You have set the bar and you’ve raised it time and time again. And I am so humbled to stand before you as I strive to convey your impact in words.”

The Prince speaks with Blake McCaughey and Hayley Cassin Credit: Yui Mok/PA

Speaking directly to the nurses and child health and social care professionals, he acknowledged that they faced “no shortage of obstacles, workforce pressures and a growing number of families who need your help.”
He said: “We recognise the sacrifices you make and your unwillingness to falter.”

Before the ceremony, the Duke attended a reception with the award winners, chatting to them about their interests and hobbies and playing with their animal balloons.

When seven-year-old Poppy Higham, from Runcorn, danced to music by Ed Sheeran in front of him, he gave her warm applause.

Poppy, who cares for her 17-year-old sister Paige, said she enjoyed speaking to Harry about “my dancing, Disney and the awards”.
Her father, Daniel Higham, said: “We’re so proud of it (the award) – it’s amazing.
“She just makes our life a lot easier sometimes when it’s not going right, she just gets on with it.
“I think she just takes it in her stride.”