When my good friend TV and radio presenter Gaby Roslin, who has hosted the WellChild Awards for the past six years, asked me if I'd be interested in joining the WellChild judging panel earlier this year, I knew it would be one of my toughest assignments yet. I was right. Reading through the hundreds of entries for the various awards categories was at times difficult and heart-wrenching.
But ultimately my fellow judges and I were tasked to highlight some individuals and groups who have shown extraordinary courage and kindness in battling their own chronic illness or in making life a little more comfortable for families with a poorly child in their homes.
WATCH: Behind the scenes with Prince Harry and Meghan at the WellChild Awards
Judging done, it was finally awards time last Tuesday evening at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London, and boy did our winners rise to the occasion! With proud Patron of WellChild the Duke of Sussex and his wife Meghan in attendance, it was a glittering occasion and there was barely a dry eye as we applauded all of the incredible stars of the night.
I was absolutely delighted to enjoy an informal conversation with the Royal couple in a private reception ahead of the awards, and I can tell you they are every bit as genuine and kind in the flesh as they appear on screen and on the pages of HELLO!
Rosie spoke to Prince Harry and Meghan at the awards
Seeing Harry's raw emotion as he spoke of being a new dad, made the awards especially poignant this year and also moved me to tears – along with Meghan – as we watched him become overcome with emotion just a few feet away from us on the stage. In those few seconds, he proved that whether you are a Prince or an average person, becoming a parent is a bond that unites us all. And, at the end of the day, all any of us wants is for our family to be healthy and safe. The way the Royal couple interact so naturally with children, having fun, offering comfort and talking to them on their level was heart-warming to watch.
It was both an honour and a humbling experience to have been involved and, as official media partner of the WellChild Awards, this marks just the beginning of HELLO!'s relationship with the charity. I was glad to introduce first-time WellChild guests Marvin and Rochelle Humes, plus presenter Kirsty Gallacher to the charity and Pixie Lott had us all on our feet dancing the night away at the end. I feel passionately about driving our mission at HELLO! to amplify and shine a spotlight on inspiring causes and people who are doing good in the world, and our coverage of this event exemplifies this ethos. But whether they won an award or not, all the families and carers supported by WellChild are heroes in our eyes. I hope you enjoy all the coverage in this week's issue.
Pick up next week's issue of HELLO! out on Monday for the full coverage.
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