Prince Harry has shared a special message with a group of children as he was appointed a Global Ambassador for Scotty’s Little Soldiers, which works with the bereaved children and young people of those involved with the British Forces.
The Duke of Sussex has been involved with the charity since 2017 and he was asked to take on the role, a first for the charity, on Thursday. Speaking about the role, Nikki Scott, who founded the charity, said: “We are really excited Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex is joining Scotty’s as a Global Ambassador.
“He’s supported Scotty’s for a number of years and having been bereaved as a child himself and having served in the British Armed Forces, including deploying to Afghanistan, Prince Harry resonates with our members.
“They know he truly understands them and the challenges they face as bereaved military children. The Duke is also able to use his profile to help raise awareness of the charity, meaning that we can reach and support more children and young people who have experienced the death of a parent who served in the British Armed Forces.”
In his letter, Harry wrote: “During what might be a particularly difficult time for you and your family, know that I am thinking of you and hoping for your Remembrance weekend to be filled with comfort, support, and shared understanding with your fellow Scotty’s members. This is an incredibly important and emotional time of the year, when so many come together to pay their respects to your military parents and our military family, for their service and for their sacrifice.
“Growing up, having lost a parent, is immensely difficult. But being part of such and resilient community like Scotty’s can really help. Spending time with people who understand what you may be feeling and who can rally around you in moments of need is something to cherish. Scotty’s will be there for you year-round, and I encourage you to take full advantage of all this community has to offer.”
He concluded: “Grief is nothing to be ashamed of; it’s normal to feel sadness from loss. But don’t forget that you also deserve to feel happiness – your parent would want that, trust me. On this Remembrance Sunday, I hope you carry a sense of pride for your mum or dad, as they do for you, with the understanding that they will never be forgotten. It’s an honour for me to be a part of this community alongside you.”
Harry’s new role comes shortly after he and his wife, Meghan Markle, visited Camp Pendleton in San Diego, where they met with veterans and active-duty service members ahead of Veterans Day in the United States.
During their visit to Camp Pendleton, the couple got a first-hand insight into Operation Bigs, which is a special mentoring program designed for children of military families, including active-duty, veteran and Gold Star families.
Launched in 2004, the mentorship program assigns young people and their families with a specific mentor who can relate to the shared experiences and challenges faced by having a parent or parents in the armed forces when they are on deployment and after they have returned.
Since its debut, the mentorship program has benefited more than 3,000 Navy and Marine Corps children and according to the Archewell website, has “expanded to over 30 affiliates across the country.”