Prince Harry dressed as Spider-Man to deliver a heartwarming message to bereaved children whose parents died while serving in the British Armed Forces.
The Duke of Sussex, who lost his own mother, Princess Diana, at age 12, explained in a video for charity Scotty’s Little Soldiers why the children don’t need to feel guilty for wanting to enjoy the festive season.
The video was played at the charity’s annual Christmas party on Saturday, New York Post reports.
“Christmas is a time when we miss our loved ones really, really badly, and that’s OK, but at the same time, it can be possible to feel guilty for having fun without our parents,” a Spider-Man clad Harry, 38, said in the clip.
“But I’m here to assure you that our parents always want us to have fun, so don’t feel guilty. You’re allowed to have the best time ever, especially with this Scotty’s Little Soldiers community.”
The royal then concluded by saying: “So, go out there, have the best time and Merry Christmas,” while lifting his mask to reveal his face to the children.
According to the British charity, their party’s theme this year was “Heroes and Villains” – which is why Harry was dressed up as a superhero.
The father-of-two appeared to really get into character for the video, tasking the young children with catching “five villains” at their party.
“You guys need to stop them from ruining Christmas, so use your teamwork, your brains and your brawn to make sure that you do exactly that,” Harry said. “Find them and don’t let them ruin Christmas, OK?”
Some of the children who participated in the charity event expressed their excitement over having witnessed the Prince’s message.
“It’s cool that someone who’s been through the same experience as us is thinking about us,” 12-year-old Emily Reynolds, who was seven years old when her dad, Sergeant Antony Reynolds, died in 2018, said in a press release.
“He’s not just someone who’s trying to be sympathetic – he actually knows what it’s like to grow up without your parent.”
Fourteen-year-old Ben O’Donnell, who was just nine weeks old when his dad, Warrant Officer Class 2 Gary O’Donnell, died in 2008, said: “It’s great he wore the Spider-Man outfit. Maybe he’ll be the next Spider-Man!”
Harry has been open in the past about how difficult it was for him to deal with the death of his mother at such a young age.
“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,” the Spare author previously said in 2017.
“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.”
At a speaking event in 2020, Harry shared that he had been to therapy for three years in order to try to overcome the “trauma” from losing his mother.
A source said at the time: “He does not want [his wife] Meghan [Markle] and their son Archie to go through what he did as a child.”
Harry and Meghan, 41, now have two children – Archie, 3, and Lilibet, 1.
This story originally appeared on New York Post and was reproduced with permission
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