Advertisement

Prince Harry Will Return to U.K. for Special Reason Next Month Ahead of Invictus Games

The Duke of Sussex, who lives in California, was last in his home country in June to give testimony against Mirror Group Newspapers for alleged unlawful information gathering

Prince Harry is returning to the U.K. next month for a special event close to his heart.

The Duke of Sussex, 38, will attend the annual awards event for WellChild, a charity for seriously ill kids, in London on September 7. Harry has been patron of WellChild for 15 years — and it is one of the few organizations he has retained from his royal life after stepping back from his working royal role in 2020.

Prince Harry is attending the WellChild event in England ahead of traveling on to Germany for the sixth iteration of his Invictus Games competition.

There is no word yet on whether Prince Harry will see any members of his family while he is in the U.K.

PAUL EDWARDS/AFP via Getty Prince Harry at the WellChild Awards
PAUL EDWARDS/AFP via Getty Prince Harry at the WellChild Awards

Related: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's 'Heart of Invictus' Is Heading to Netflix! Release Date and Trailer Revealed

In a statement released on Wednesday, Prince Harry said, “For nearly 20 years, WellChild has been transforming the lives of children and young people across the U.K., providing critical care that prioritizes the physical, mental and emotional well-being of these individuals and their families.”

“The courage and strength embodied by these young people — and the tireless devotion of those who support them — never cease to inspire me," he continued. "I’m honored to attend this year’s awards ceremony and celebrate their incredible work.”

Harry has attended 11 of the awards ceremonies, and Meghan joined him at the awards in 2018 and 2019.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle , 41, were planning to go to last year’s WellChild Awards ceremony on September 8 when news broke that his grandmother Queen Elizabeth was critically ill. She died later that day.

Victoria Jones/WPA Pool/Getty Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at the WellChild Awards in 2018
Victoria Jones/WPA Pool/Getty Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at the WellChild Awards in 2018

More than 100,000 children and young people are living across the U.K. with serious health needs, WellChild says. The awards honor the awe-inducing qualities of children and young people living with serious illnesses or complex medical needs and highlight the dedication of nurses, parents and siblings who help to provide the kids with healthy and happy lives.

Like he has done on many times before, Harry will spend time with each winner and their families at a pre-ceremony reception, hearing their stories and helping create what the charity calls “lifelong memories.”

He is then set to attend the ceremony and present the Award for Inspirational Child (aged 4 to 6) and give a speech.

Related: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's History with WellChild Includes a Visit While Secretly Expecting Archie

The charity's Chief Executive, Matt James, added in a statement, “The number of children and young people in the U.K. living with long-term, complex medical needs is growing. The WellChild Awards 2023, in association with GSK, will be a unique opportunity to shine a light on the immense challenges they face and to celebrate their remarkable resilience and spirit.”

“It will also provide an opportunity to recognize the selfless dedication of those around them, from siblings and parent carers to the professionals who have gone above and beyond to give them the very best chance to thrive.”

After he wasn’t able to attend last year’s event in person, Prince Harry made a video in February appealing for nominations for the next cohort of awards.

Can't get enough of PEOPLE's Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate MiddletonMeghan Markle and more!

VICTORIA JONES/AFP via Getty Meghan Markle and Prince Harry attend 2018 WellChild Awards
VICTORIA JONES/AFP via Getty Meghan Markle and Prince Harry attend 2018 WellChild Awards

At the 2019 awards, Prince Harry and Meghan attended for the first time as parents themselves, having welcomed son Prince Archie, now 4, earlier that year. Harry revealed in his speech that they knew Meghan was pregnant during their visit the previous year (they had yet to publicly share their news), making their visit even more emotional.

"Last year, when my wife and I attended, we knew we were expecting our first child — no one else did at the time, but we did — and I remember…" he said before his voice trailed off.

"I remember squeezing Meghan's hand so tight during the awards, both of us thinking what it would be like to be parents one day," he continued. "And more so, what it would be like to do everything we could to protect and help our child should they be born with immediate challenges or become unwell over time."

"And now, as parents, being here and speaking to all of you pulls at my heartstrings in a way I could have never understood until I had a child of my own," Harry added.

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.