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Prince Harry makes heartfelt visit ahead of departure from UK – details

The Duke of Sussex will soon be heading to Nigeria where he will reunite with the Duchess of Sussex

Matthew Moore
Online News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead
9 May 2024
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Ahead of his departure to Nigeria, the Duke of Sussex paid a personal visit to a play day hosted by Scotty's Little Soldiers, which supports the bereaved children of military families.

Harry surprised a group of young people aged between eight and 22 at the event and got involved in the games being played, including Edible Races, Flipper Challenge and Bucket Head. The royal, who has seen active military service, also spent time talking to parents at the event and members of Scotty's Council.

The father-of-two serves as a global ambassador for the charity, and of the event said: "It was an honour to meet so many of the wonderful families Scotty’s Little Soldiers supports.

"I have long believed in the mission of this charity, and I truly believe the work they do to foster community and create space for young people to connect, grieve, but also have fun together is life-changing. I am a huge supporter of their work, and very proud to be their first Global Ambassador."

Prince Harry sucking sweets with a straw
Harry got involved in the games

One of the members of Scotty's Council is 16-year-old Georgia Paterson, who lost her father to suicide in 2016, when she was eight. The teenager was full of praise for the Duke, as she shared: "Prince Harry was the best person to share that experience with because he's been through it and understands better than anyone.

"It was really moving to see how vulnerable he was with us, which encouraged us to open up as well. It felt really connecting because when your parent served, they served for the country, and one of the most important things for the country is the Royal Family. Speaking with someone who is part of that made me feel more connected to my Dad. It was amazing to be connected to him in that moment."

Prince Harry sat in a circle with a group of young people© Scotty's Little Soldiers
Harry listened to personal testimonies

19-year-old Joshua Kirkham, whose father died in a road-traffic collision when Joshua was six, added: "The standout moment in our conversation with Prince Harry was around coping mechanisms for bereavement. We discussed being proud of the family member we've lost, celebrating their life, and understanding that it's okay to be sad, to grieve, and to seek support in whatever way feels right."

Scotty's Little Soldiers was Harry's last engagement during his whistlestop visit to the UK, which saw him supported by his uncle, Charles Spencer, during a service that honoured the tenth anniversary of the Invictus Games.

Prince Harry laughing while a girl in a red shirt balances a biscuit on her face© Scotty's Little Soldiers
Harry's visit was welcomed by the children

During his trip, the Duke was unable to reunite with his father, King Charles, "due to His Majesty's full programme". A source said: "The Duke of course is understanding of his father's diary of commitments and various other priorities and hopes to see him soon."

READ: Why Zara Tindall and other royals didn't attend Prince Harry's Invictus service

MORE: Prince Harry's meaningful bracelets are actually a major 2024 jewellery trend

Harry will soon depart for a trip to Nigeria, where he will reunite with his wife, Meghan Markle. The couple are understood to have been invited by the Chief of Defence Staff, the highest-ranking military official in Nigeria, who Harry previously met at the Invictus Games in Dusseldorf last September.

Prince Harry leaning on a table with a group of young people in blue shirts© Scotty's Little Soldiers
The Duke is a Global Ambassador for the charity

The trip comes after Meghan performed a genealogy test that revealed she was 43% Nigerian.


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