'I imagine words cannot really hope to provide much comfort to you and your family at this most difficult of times, but I wanted you to know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers'
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have reached out to the parents of a terminally ill teenager who passed away last month.
18-year-old Holly Smallman, who had been unwell since birth, died during the lockdown period, something that understandably makes the grieving process harder for families.
The Duke of Sussex met Holly five years ago when her sister, Ruby, won ‘Most Caring Person’ at the WellChild Awards – a charity for which Harry is a patron.
Following her death, the duke reached out to Holly’s parents in an emotional email, which they have now shared.
‘I feel so fortunate to have met Holly in 2015 when her sister Ruby received a WellChild Award,’ Harry wrote. ‘Holly was evidently a very special and happy girl, despite her significant challenges, and she clearly had an extra special relationship with her siblings.
‘It was a great privilege to spend time with you all, particularly Holly, and I can still remember the amazingly creative handmade penguin that Ruby gave me – complete with red hair!
‘Hayley, I know since then you have been an avid WellChild supporter and ambassador; it’s been a pleasure to see you again on a few occasions. I’ve heard just how much you’ve done for other parents caring for children with complex needs, helping to push forward programmes and campaigns that provide support to these families.
‘Given everything you have both dealt with personally, this is truly selfless and inspirational. I am so grateful to you, as I know many other people and families will be too. Huge respect for juggling so many plates and always being able to put a smile on people’s faces.
‘I imagine words cannot really hope to provide much comfort to you and your family at this most difficult of times, but I wanted you to know that you, and your daughter Ruby and son Josh, are all in my thoughts and prayers.
‘Meghan and I send our deepest and most heartfelt condolences. Harry’.
For Prince Harry to find the time to send this email, to know that Holly made that impact on him and that he cares so much, even in all this private turmoil he’s going through, just meant the world to us,’ Holly’s mother, Hayley, told the Daily Mail.
What a lovely gesture.
Our thoughts are with Holly’s family at this incredibly difficult time.