Prince Harry hosts the WellChild awards at Kew Gardens
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Prince Harry briefly spoke about his beloved grandfather at this year’s WellChild Awards, held yesterday at Kew Gardens. At the event, the Duke of Sussex chatted with the exceptional young people taking part in the event, their parents and carers.
Among them, there were Carmela Chillery-Watson and her father Darren – who passed on his condolences to Harry in the wake of Prince Philip’s passing.
Prince Harry thanked Mr Chillery-Watson before adding the Duke of Edinburgh “had a great innings”.
He continued: “He was 99 and he was adamant that he never wanted to live to 100.”
Prince Philip reportedly told journalist Gyles Brandreth he had “no desire whatsoever” to live to 100, adding he could not “imagine anything worse”.
During the interview, carried out in 2000, Prince Philip joked: “Bits of me are falling off already.”
Prince Philip died on April 9 at Windsor Castle.
His death prompted the return to the UK of Prince Harry who, ahead of the funeral, issued a heartwarming and personal statement for his grandfather.
It read: “My grandfather was a man of service, honour and great humour.
“He was authentically himself, with a seriously sharp wit, and could hold the attention of any room due to his charm — and also because you never knew what he might say next.
“He will be remembered as the longest-reigning consort to the Monarch, a decorated serviceman, a Prince and a Duke.
“But to me, like many of you who have lost a loved one or grandparent over the pain of this past year, he was my grandpa: master of the barbecue, legend of banter, and cheeky right ’til the end.”
In his message, the Duke of Sussex also acknowledged Philip’s devotion to the Queen and his role in support of the Crown.
During the WellChild event, Prince Harry had the chance to hear the difficulties experienced by Carmela’s family during the pandemic.
Mr Chillery-Watson, who works as a courier delivering PPE and COVID samples for the NHS, slept in his van or in the garden shed to shield his daughter from COVID-19 for the first eight months of the pandemic.
Carmela attended the WellChild garden party as the winner of the Inspirational Child 4-6 Years Award.
During lockdown, she raised more than £50,000 for Muscular Dystrophy UK by undertaking various challenges.
Prince Harry has been the patron of WellChild since 2007 and has remained in touch with the organisation throughout the pandemic.
Yesterday’s event, which celebrated the achievement of young people but also thanked their carers for their extraordinary efforts during the pandemic, marked Harry’s first charity engagement in the UK since March 2020.
Prince Harry returned to England on Friday and has spent five days in self-isolation at Frogmore Cottage.
Shortly after his arrival at his residence in Windsor, the Duke is believed to have been visited by the Queen.
The Duke has also reportedly been in touch with his brother William, with whom he is said to have exchanged a few texts following England’s victory over Germany at EURO 2020.
Prince Harry will meet his brother in person today in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, where they will unveil a statue of their mother.
The Dukes commissioned the statue in 2017 to mark the 20th anniversary of her death.
However, following delays, it will be unveiled today, on what would have been her 60th birthday.
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