Prince Harry returning to the UK on eve of first anniversary of the Queen’s death

Publish Date
Friday, 25 August 2023, 9:43AM
Prince Harry's next visit to the UK comes as the royals mark the first anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's death. Photo / AP

Prince Harry's next visit to the UK comes as the royals mark the first anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's death. Photo / AP

The Duke of Sussex will return to the UK next month to attend an awards ceremony on the eve of the first anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s death.

Prince Harry, 38, will deliver a speech at the WellChild Awards in London on September 7.

The engagement means he will likely be in the UK for the September 8 anniversary of his grandmother’s death before flying to Dusseldorf for the Invictus Games, which begin on September 9.

However, he is not expected to see the King, who will be at Balmoral, or his brother Prince William, with whom he has not been in contact for many months.

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The Duke will not be accompanied by Meghan, 42, who will fly straight to Dusseldorf from California a few days later.

For the first time since moving abroad, Harry will be forced to ask permission from Buckingham Palace for accommodation, having been evicted from Frogmore Cottage, his Windsor home, earlier this summer.

The last time he stayed at the Grade II-listed property was when he returned for three nights in June to give evidence in his High Court phone-hacking case against Mirror Group Newspapers.

While on UK soil, the Duke must request access to an apartment on one of the royal estates, such as Windsor, or otherwise stay with friends or at a hotel.

When the Sussexes were evicted from Frogmore, the King agreed to provide alternative accommodation when they returned to the UK.

Harry will be accompanied on his brief trip by his private security team as he is no longer entitled to automatic police protection when in the UK.

By the time he arrives, the Prince and Princess of Wales will have returned to their Windsor home after the summer holidays. The new school term for their three children begins on September 6.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attended the Queen's funeral following her death on September 8 last year. Photo / AP

The couple will conduct a public engagement outside London on September 8, during which they will acknowledge the anniversary of the Queen’s death.

The Duke has been a patron of WellChild, the national charity for seriously ill children, for 15 years, and it was one of the few private patronages he retained when he stepped back from royal duties.

Last year’s awards ceremony took place on September 8 - the day of the Queen’s death.

The Duke had been due to attend and give a speech but pulled out as he raced up to Scotland in the hope of seeing his grandmother one last time.

He did not make it, and the monarch’s death was announced shortly before his plane touched down in Aberdeen.

This year, he will present the award for the most inspirational child aged between four and six and will deliver a speech.

He will spend time with each winner and their families at a pre-ceremony reception, listening to their stories.

The Duke said: “For nearly 20 years, WellChild has been transforming the lives of children and young people across the UK, providing critical care that prioritises the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of these individuals and their families.

“The courage and strength embodied by these young people – and the tireless devotion of those who support them – never ceases to inspire me. I’m honoured to attend this year’s awards ceremony and celebrate their incredible work.”

WellChild chief executive Matt James said the awards ceremony provided a unique opportunity to shine a light on the challenges faced by the growing number of children and young people in the UK living with long-term, complex medical needs.

He said it would also celebrate their “remarkable resilience and spirit” and recognise the dedication of those who care for them.

- Daily Telegraph UK

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