Prince Harry quietly paid tribute to servicemen and women all over the world on Remembrance Sunday, when he was spotted by members of the public visiting Pearl Harbour and wrote to bereaved military children who had lost a parent.
Donning a red poppy pin, he was seen being shown around the USS Arizona Pearl Harbour Memorial. His letter - which touched on his own grief over Princess Diana’s death - was also shared online by the British charity Scotty's Little Soldiers.
He appeared to be on his own when he visited Pearl Harbour in photographs featured in People, as Meghan Markle and his two children were not pictured. A visitor who spotted him at the memorial told People that Prince Harry had been “very respectful and courteous and nice” when they had a short encounter and was led around by a guide.
Remembrance Sunday also falls on the same day as Veterans Day in the US, a similar American holiday which honours veterans and fallen soldiers. Pearl Harbour, a naval base, is a significant historical site as it was bombed by the Japanese during World War II, which ended America’s neutral position during the war and led them to join the Allies alongside the United Kingdom.
Prince Harry also shared a moving message for military children who had lost their parents, released through the British charity Scotty’s Little Soldiers. The charity, which works to “ensure no bereaved military child is left behind,” shared his message on their website on Remembrance Sunday.
“Prince Harry knows November can be a proud but emotional time for bereaved British Forces children, and he understands what it is like to experience the death of a parent. He has been involved with the charity for several years, and today he wrote this special letter for our members at Remembrance,” the charity began.
In his heartfelt message, Prince Harry empathised with military children who had lost their own parents - talking in detail about his own experience of losing his mother Princess Diana, as well as the complex emotions behind Remembrance Sunday for children who had lost a military parent.
“We share a bond even without ever meeting one another, because we share in having lost a parent. I know first-hand the pain and grief that comes with loss and want you to know that you are not alone,” he said.
“While difficult feelings will come up today as we pay tribute to heroes like your mum or dad, I hope you can find comfort and strength in knowing that their love for you lives and shine on,” he said, encouraging the children to reach out to friends and Scotty’s Little Soldiers for help.
Reflecting on his own history, he said, “One of the ways I’ve learned to cope has been through community and talking about my grief, and I couldn’t be more grateful and relieved that you have amazing people walking beside you throughout your journey.”
“We all know some days are harder than others, but today those days are made easier,” he continued.
He ended his message by telling the children how “incredibly proud” he was of them for participating in a Remembrance Day parade to pay tribute to their parents. He wrote, “I salute you for serving others in need, in the most honourable memory of your parent.”
He signed off his letter, “With my deepest respect, Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex.”
Ahead of Remembrance Sunday, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle also released a joint tribute to servicemen and women through their charity Archewell’s website. Featuring a picture of the pair at a military event, the pair honoured both soldiers and their families who they wrote had “made tremendous sacrifices and embody duty and service.”
“Today and every day, thank you for your service,” their message continued.
In the UK, Prince Harry’s family also honoured Remembrance Day with the traditional memorial at the Cenotaph in London. King Charles, joined by his siblings Princess Anne, Prince Edward and son Prince William, joined politicians, members of the military and more in laying poppy wreaths at its base in memory of fallen soldiers across the world. It marked the first Remembrance Sunday led by King Charles, following the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II on September 8 this year.
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Megan is a freelance journalist who covers entertainment and all things lifestyle, with a particular passion for fashion, beauty, travel and Keanu Reeves stories. She has previously worked on staff for titles including Marie Claire UK, CNN Style and The Evening Standard and has written for titles such as Bustle UK, Wallpaper*, Forbes and Hong Kong Tatler. She splits her time between London and her hometown Hong Kong, where she currently lives with the love of her life - an elderly dog named Poppy - and her husband.
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