There were lots of special moments during Meghan and Harry’s royal tour, but one particular exchange with a child during a New Zealand walkabout really pulled at our heartstrings.
The People’s Prince
Six-year-old Otia Nante was in the crowd at the time, accompanied by his grandmother Te, when the ‘People’s Prince’ stopped to chat to the pair.
On discovering that Otia had lost his mum, Harry was laser-focused on sharing some words of comfort and encouragement.
The touching moment Prince Harry comforts a young boy during the #RoyalTourNZ after his mother recently passed away. Diana would be so proud ❤️ https://t.co/74vImH9DO3 #RoyalTour pic.twitter.com/QzsvyvgRk7
— news.com.au (@newscomauHQ) October 30, 2018
“Life will always be alright, you know that, yeah?” he told Otia. “I made it to 34 years old and life is great. I’ve got a beautiful wife and a baby on the way … Your life is gonna be sorted, don’t you worry about that.”
“Everything will be OK. Look at me,” Prince Harry told the little boy about his own recovery from losing his mother – Princess Diana – in 1997 when he was just twelve-years-old.
A concerned Harry then shifted his attention to Otia’s grandmother and carer, commending her on the important role she’s taken on in her grandson’s life.
“You’re doing a great job, Nan,” he said. “Nans are so important in our lives.”
“Very close to a complete breakdown”
Last year Harry spoke out about how he’d tried to escape the emotional fall-out of his mother’s death, finally seeking therapy when he was 28, and igniting a passion for mental health advocacy (which he and the other young royals are pursuing via their charity Heads Together.)
“I can safely say that losing my mum at the age of 12, and therefore shutting down all of my emotions for the last 20 years, has had a quite serious effect on not only my personal life but my work as well,” Harry told The Telegraph.
“My way of dealing with it was sticking my head in the sand, refusing to ever think about my mum, because why would that help?”
“I have probably been very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions when all sorts of grief and sort of lies and misconceptions and everything are coming to you from every angle.”
Read more about Harry and Meghan:
- New Zealand just gave Meghan and Harry’s baby THESE adorable gumboots
- The food pregnant Duchess Meghan was warned NOT to eat in Australia
- Forget what you’ve heard, Prince Harry looks almost EXACTLY like his grandpa
Sharing a painful journey
Harry said that opening up about what he’s endured has helped him feel less isolated.
“The experience I have had is that once you start talking about it, you realise that actually you’re part of quite a big club,” he said.
It’s clear that he’s keen for other children who have lost a parent to find ways to share their experience and heal – and taking the time to stop and talk to Otia about life after the loss of a parent is proof of that.
Taking a protocol-breaking selfie with this little guy was pretty brilliant too.