Prince-Harry-Amsterdam

Prince Harry's secret engagement revealed

It’s a subject close to his heart

Chloe Best

The Duke of Sussex returned to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst to tackle a subject close to his heart earlier this year, it has been revealed. Prince Harry was one of the guest speakers at the Field Army Health Conference, where he gave a lecture on mental health alongside former England footballer Rio Ferdinand.

Harry’s secret visit to the place where he trained to become an officer was revealed by a former Household Cavalry colleague who has taken on his own mental health project, and has been carrying around a ball and chain to raise awareness about the issue. Warrant Officer First Class Steve Parker, Command Corporal Major was asked to take on the challenge to help a new charity but he got a shock when he said he could not do it this week.

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Prince Harry returned to Sandhurst to give a lecture on mental health

"My commanding officer strapped it on to me on Monday and said 'you can't choose when you have mental health problems'," said WO1 Parker, who served in the same Squadron as Harry when they were in the Household Cavalry's Blues and Royals. "It's showing the burden we all have to carry," he added.

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The senior soldier talked about his charity task when he met the Duchess of Cornwall as she visited London's Victory Services Club on Thursday in her role as its patron-in-chief. He handed over the three-kilogram ball to Camilla so she could feel its weight, and the Duchess said he was doing it for a worthy cause.

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Steve Parker spoke about the visit with the Duchess of Cornwall

WO1 Parker said about Harry: "He's been in Sandhurst attending the Field Army Health Conference, he was giving a full briefing about mental health. It's really important we have that conversation now, it's taken a long time. I don't just think it's about the military, society as a whole has an issue."

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Prince Harry is passionate about supporting mental health, and worked together with the Duchess of Sussex and Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the Heads Together campaign. Despite the two royal couples officially splitting their households, they are expected to work together again on the campaign in the future.

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