The Duke of Sussex gave a touching speech at the WellChild Awards in London

Prince Harry says late Queen ‘looking down on us’ on eve of death anniversary

Prince Harry arrives at the WellChild Awards


The day has finally arrived, and HELLO! is getting ready to honor the remarkable accomplishments and tenacity of children and their families at the WellChild Awards, presented in partnership with GSK.

On his first trip to the UK since June, the Duke of Sussex, who has benevolently supported WellChild for 15 years, has just arrived at the ceremony in London.

Prior to the Awards, Prince Harry made the following statement: “WellChild has been transforming the lives of children and young people across the UK for nearly 20 years by providing critical care that prioritizes these individuals’ and their families’ physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.”


Harry arrives on the purple carpet
Photo: Getty Images


The Duke will meet the winners and their families at a pre-ceremony reception prior to giving a speech and presenting the Inspirational Child (ages four to six) award.

Being the official media partner for the event, HELLO! will live stream the ceremony starting at 18:15 p.m. on their homepage. Thus, please make sure to return to watch.

The national children’s charity in the UK, WellChild, enables children and young people with complex and serious medical needs to receive care, whenever feasible, at home rather than in a hospital.

Prior to the Awards, WellChild CEO Matt James stated: “A growing number of children and young people in the UK are living with long-term, complex medical needs.

“The WellChild Awards 2023, presented in partnership with GSK, will offer a singular chance to highlight the enormous obstacles they encounter and to honor their incredible fortitude and spirit.


Pre-ceremony reception

At a pre-ceremony reception, Harry greeted children and their families, including George and Hollie Pearson, the mother, above.

Since 2007, the Duke has supported WellChild and attended the annual awards ceremony each year.

Just a few months after their royal wedding in 2018, Meghan, the spouse of Harry, went to the celebration with her spouse.


Harry greeted guests at the event
Photo: Getty Images


And in 2019, after the birth of his son Archie in May of that year, the Duke looked emotional as he talked about his journey to fatherhood.

Due to Harry’s flight to Scotland to be with other royal family members, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were forced to miss last year’s awards ceremony, which took place on the day of Queen Elizabeth II’s death.

This coming Friday is the first anniversary of the late Queen’s demise.


Caring Child winner: Poppy, 7

Poppy, who is only seven years old, is a dedicated caregiver for her seventeen-year-old sister Paige, who requires round-the-clock attention and is frequently taken to the hospital.

Due to Paige’s severe epilepsy and hyperinsulinism, Poppy’s early life is centered around meeting her sister’s needs. Paige requires assistance with breathing, eating, and moving.

Poppy never complains, even though she misses out on things that most kids her age take for granted, like birthday parties that are canceled or messed up. Rather, she takes charge to assist in taking care of her older sister, whose eyes brighten up whenever she enters the room.


Harry and Poppy enjoy a dance at WellChild Awards
Photo: Getty Images


The sisters from Runcorn, Cheshire, have an unbreakable bond, and Poppy enjoys reading to and singing to Paige to make her happy. She has even conquered her shyness to help raise money for Paige’s hospice in her community.

Mother Stacey thinks Poppy should know how unique she is and how much her family values the assistance she provides.


Meghan “very upset” to miss Awards

At this year’s WellChild Awards, the Duke of Sussex cracked jokes with the young winners and their families.

He spent fifty minutes chatting, listening to their stories, and making them laugh at a reception for the seriously ill children being honored for their accomplishments and resilience, as well as the adults providing care for them.

He explained to a family that his wife Meghan was “very upset that she couldn’t be here” because they had a “busy week” coming up, including going to the Invictus Games in Dusseldorf the following week.

Ruky Anighoro, a 14-year-old from Thamesmead, Kent, performed his single “Watch Me Now,” which he wrote with his sister Faith and released on his birthday, and spoke with Harry about how much he loves Chelsea FC.


Harry spoke to each of the winners
Photo: Getty Images


“Excellent ability,” the Duke remarked, nodding his head in agreement with the rap.

In spite of having multiple surgeries to treat his brittle bone disease, the teenager was given the Special Recognition award for his diligence in the classroom.

At the star-studded event, Ruky—who was accompanied by her mother Ufuoma, father Odafe, and sister Faith—said, “I think it’s a good thing for Prince Harry to come here to support people that have won an award and who deserve it.”

Harry’s presence, according to Ufuoma, made it even more memorable. She continued, saying, “It speaks of his heart, his kindness.” And his love for kids comes to mind as well.


Harry pays tribute to late Queen in touching speech


On the eve of the first anniversary of her passing, the Duke of Sussex paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II by telling young people who had won charity awards that she would be watching over them.

A year after being forced to cancel the annual event, Prince Harry praised seriously ill children receiving awards at the WellChild awards, traveling to Balmoral as the late monarch’s family convened.


Harry was in his element
Photo: Getty Images


“As you know, I was unable to attend the awards last year due to the passing of my grandmother,” he said to the guests. As you are undoubtedly aware, she would have been the first to insist that I continue to come and be with you all rather than going to her. For this reason, I am certain that, exactly one year later, she is watching over all of us tonight, happy that we are together, and continuing to highlight such a wonderful community.

What a motivating evening this has been. There are so many amazing and touching tales of resiliency, and it’s obvious that Harry has a deep affection for the organization WellChild.

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