Prince Harry made the trip from California to London to attend the 2023 WellChild Awards.
The Duke of Sussex, 38, appeared to be in good spirits at the Thursday, September 7, ceremony, smiling for photos on the step and repeat. He wore a navy suit with a crisp white button-down that he paired with a light blue patterned tie.
Harry announced in August that he would be present for the event. “For nearly 20 years, WellChild has been transforming the lives of children and young people across the U.K., providing critical care that prioritizes the physical, mental and emotional well-being of these individuals and their families,” he said in a statement at the time. “The courage and strength embodied by these young people — and the tireless devotion of those who support them — never cease to inspire me. I’m honored to attend this year’s awards ceremony and celebrate their incredible work.”
In addition to presenting the Award for Inspirational Child (aged 4 to 6) and giving a speech, Harry spent “time with each winner and their families at a pre-ceremony reception, listening to their stories and helping create lifelong memories.”
Later this week, Harry and wife Meghan Markle will travel to Düsseldorf, Germany, for the 2023 Invictus Games. “The Duke will be in attendance throughout the entirety of the games and will be joined by The Duchess shortly after the games begin,” a spokesperson for the couple said in an August statement.
As for the WellChild Awards, the ceremony holds a special place in Harry’s heart as he has been a patron of the organization — which helps seriously ill children — for 15 years and attended the event 11 times. Meghan, 42, previously went to the 2018 and 2019 ceremonies alongside her husband. Last year, the pair were already in the U.K. for the event on September 8, but they chose to skip it after Queen Elizabeth II died that day.
“Last year, when my wife and I attended, we knew we were expecting our first child — no one else did at the time, but we did — and I remember squeezing Meghan’s hand so tight during the awards, both of us thinking what it would be like to be parents one day,” he said at the ceremony. “And more so, what it would be like to do everything we could to protect and help our child should they be born with immediate challenges or become unwell over time.”
Harry also noted how his perspective on the ceremony changed after becoming a father, adding: “And now, as parents, being here and speaking to all of you pulls at my heartstrings in a way I could have never understood until I had a child of my own.”