"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," Harry told the crowd.

By Joelle Goldstein
October 16, 2019
WPA Pool/Getty Images

Prince Harry had a very different — and meaningful — perspective on parenthood at this year’s WellChild Awards.

While delivering a poignant speech at the annual awards ceremony on Tuesday, Harry, 35, opened up about how this time last year, he and Meghan Markle were secretly expecting their first child together.

As he was about to recall what they were feeling as first-time parents-to-be, Harry’s emotions got the best of him and the new dad broke down in tears.

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“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…” he said before his voice trailed off as tears welled up in his eyes.

The royal then put his head down and momentarily paused to collect himself and his emotions as the crowd supportively applauded him.

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“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 went on. “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.”

“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,” Harry added.

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The WellChild Awards, one of the annual highlights of the couple’s calendar, honors gravely ill children and their caregivers, and is one of the couple’s most emotional events of the year.

The event celebrates the inspiring qualities of some of the U.K.’s seriously ill young people and the dedication of those who go the extra mile to keep children healthy and happy, including the outstanding health, social care and education professionals.

Though Harry has been a patron of WellChild since 2007, this year’s ceremony was the first time he showed up as a father to 5-month-old son Archie. Meghan, 38, meanwhile, attended the awards for the first time last year.

WellChild was also one of the four charities chosen by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to benefit from the generous donations made by the public on the occasion of the birth of their son.

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Archie was, of course, one of the many topics that the royal couple discussed during their appearance on Tuesday — and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex even revealed some adorable new details about their son.

While chatting with the crowd, Meghan shared that she recently took Archie to his first playgroup, which “he loved.” The royal parents also confirmed that their baby boy has inherited his father’s most recognizable feature: red hair!

“You can see it in his eyebrows,” they said

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Meghan and Harry also attended a pre-ceremony reception on Tuesday, where they met the young winners of each award category and their families and the nominated healthcare professionals.

There, they shared a touching moment with a young girl who wore a tiara for the special occasion.

The pair’s outing comes on a busy day for the royal family.

Queen Elizabeth and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, stepped out together for a joint outing to mark the 750th anniversary of Westminster Abbey. Kate Middleton and Prince William have also embarked on the first full day of their royal tour in Pakistan.

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