It’s been an eventful few months in the Markle/Mountbatten-Windsor household.
Between welcoming their first daughter, Lilibet Diana in June, appearing side by side on their first official magazine cover, and embarking on a whistle-stop tour of New York City, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been busier than ever lately.
This week, Harry and Meghan made headlines over an impassioned plea Meghan penned to US congress calling for paid parental leave as a national right. Unlike the UK, the US offers no national paid leave, and has been consistently cited as having one of the worst maternity leave plans among the world’s richest countries.
Writing the open letter “as a mom”, Meghan opened up about the financial struggles of her own childhood, and how the privilege of being able to take unpaid time off work following the birth of Lilibet opened her eyes to how necessary a national paid leave plan is.
That certainly isn’t the first time the couple have used their platform to speak out on issues they feel important, though. Harry and Meghan appeared together at Global Citizen Live in New York last month to campaign for greater vaccine equity, and have broken with royal protocol to wade into politics, urging voters in last year’s presidential election to “reject hate speech, misinformation, and online negativity”.
Now, Prince Harry is using his public platform to raise awareness of an organisation for which he’s been a patron for almost fifteen years: UK charity WellChild.
The organisation, which supports seriously ill children and young people, have been working with the prince since 2007, and earlier this year invited Harry to serve as Chair of Judges for the photography competition Hopes and Dreams: My Life Through a Lens.
Harry and a panel of judges chose winners among entries from children across the UK, illustrating what life ls like for young people and their families living with serious health needs.
“The children and families I’ve had the honour of meeting over my years working with WellChild have shown incredible optimism, courage, and resilience,” Prince Harry said. “I wasn’t only proud to participate as a judge in this exhibition—I was deeply moved by each and every photograph, as they capture a moment and say so much about their personal story.”
He added: “Every person who is part of the WellChild family is a true inspiration. Congratulations to all the entries and a special cheer to the winners!”
Harry and the judges awarded first place to 13-year-old Ruby Smallman from Liverpool, for her photograph of a young girl standing in front of a large tree, titled ‘Hope in Oak’; while second place went to 10-year-old Noah McNeill from Huddersfield.
Is a new career pending for Prince Harry in the art world? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.