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Why today holds special memories for Prince Harry

The Prince was given a pop star's welcome in Cardiff, Wales

harry cardiff
Danielle Stacey
Danielle StaceyOnline Royal CorrespondentLondon
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Prince Harry has always had an incredible rapport with children and Friday 5 June marks a special day for the royal. It’s been 12 years since Harry carried out his first solo engagements in Cardiff, Wales, and he received quite the reception from the crowds of locals, who had gathered to see him on the day.

The then 23-year-old visited Cardiff's University Hospital and took the time to speak with a number of well-wishers outside the building. Harry even had his first major public encounter with a baby after a local mother pressed her sleeping little girl into his arms. Since that moment, the Prince has spoken about his desire to have a family of his own, and he and wife Meghan welcomed their first child, Archie, in May 2019.

WATCH: Meghan Markle and baby Archie's cutest moments together

harry cardiff patient© Photo: Getty Images

Harry spoke to patients

In more touching moments captured by royal photographers, Harry held the hand of an elderly patient and made a beeline for another youngster, who grinned at him. At one point, the Prince even held up a copy of HELLO! magazine with a photo of his older brother, Prince William, dressed in his naval uniform. Reports at the time said Harry told the crowd that the pictures of William had resulted in some good-natured teasing from the family. "We have really been ribbing him about that at home," he laughed.

MORE: Royals loving life at 30: from Kate Middleton to Prince Charles

harry cardiff hello magazine© Photo: Rex

Harry with a copy of HELLO! magazine featuring brother William

Earlier in 2008, the Ministry of Defence confirmed that Harry had been serving with the British Army in Helmand, Afghanistan for more than two months and in April that year, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant with The Household Cavalry (Blues and Royals). He later returned to Afghanistan for four months in 2012 to 2013 with the Army Air Corps. Harry ended his ten-year army career in 2015 to take up charity and royal engagements full-time.

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