Prince Harry sent a deeply personal letter about the "pain and grief" of losing a parent to bereaved children of the military on Remembrance Sunday (13.11.22)
The Duke of Sussex penned the note to Scotty’s Little Soldiers, a charity that supports children and young adults who have lost a loved one in the military.
Harry's mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, tragically died from her injuries sustained in a car crash in Paris, France, in 1997, when she was 36, and Harry was 12.
In the letter, the 38-year-old royal - who served in the British Army for a decade in various roles, but was stripped of his military titles when he stepped down as a senior member of the British Royal Family and relocated to the US with his Meghan, Duchess of Sussex - Harry declared his "bond" with anyone who has lost a parent and told them they are "not alone" in their grief.
He wrote in the emotional piece: “We share a bond even without ever meeting one another.
“Because we share in having lost a parent. I know first-hand the pain and grief that comes with loss and want you to know that you are not alone. While difficult feelings will come up today as we pay tribute to heroes like your mum and dad, I hope you can find comfort and strength in knowing that their love for you lives and shines on.”
The prince - who founded the Invictus Games, a multi-sport event for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women, both serving and veterans, in 2014 - also shared how talking to others about his grief has been one of the ways he's "learned to cope".
Harry continued: “Whenever you need a reminder of this, I encourage you to lean into your friends at Scotty’s Little Soldiers. One of the ways I’ve learned to cope has been through community and talking about my grief, and I couldn’t be more grateful and relieved that you have amazing people walking beside you throughout your journey. We all know some days are harder than others, but together those days are made easier.”
He signed off the post: “Today you will bring new awareness to young people, just like you, who will benefit from this community of support. I salute you for serving others in need, in the most honourable memory of your parent. With my deepest respect, Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex.”
Samuel Hall, a member of the organisation, responded: “It’s comforting to know Prince Harry understands how we feel and cares about us. It was great to receive the letter. Remembrance is a difficult time and being with Scotty’s helps me and the other members know people are there for us.”
Meanwhile, back in London, Harry's father, King Charles, 73, and his brother Prince William, 40, attended the Remembrance Sunday ceremony at the Cenotaph with other senior members of the Royal Family.