'She is looking down on us': Harry remembers late Queen during his solo UK visit

While Prince Harry is back in the UK on the eve of the anniversary of the Queen's death, it is understood that he won't be seeing either his father or brother during the visit. Royal Editor Chris Ship on the Duke of Sussex's fleeting visit

Prince Harry remembered his late grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, on the eve of the anniversary of her death as he paid a brief - and solo - visit to the UK to attend a charity event close to his heart.

The Duke of Sussex said the late Queen was "looking down on all of us” during a speech at the WellChild Awards ceremony in London on Thursday night, his first appearance in the UK since June.

The duke reflected on the events of 12 months ago when he was forced to miss the awards as he rushed to Balmoral in Aberdeenshire after his grandmother was taken ill.

He said: “As you know, I was unable to attend the awards last year as my grandmother passed away.

"As you also probably know, she would have been the first person to insist that I still come to be with you all instead of going to her, and that’s precisely why I know exactly one year on that she is looking down on all of us tonight, happy we’re together, continuing to spotlight such an incredible community.”

Earlier, Harry cut a relaxed figure as he sat with seriously-ill children and their families during a pre-ceremony reception at The Hurlingham Club in south-west London.

The duke, a WellChild patron for 15 years, sat down with each young award winner in turn and spoke with them about their interests and hobbies.

He fist-bumped two of the boys receiving Inspirational Young Person awards – George Hall, 11, from Skipton, North Yorkshire, and Blake McCaughey, 15, from Tandragee, Co Armagh. Blake and his family gifted Harry a green Belfast Giants ice hockey shirt, personalised with the duke’s name on the back.

Harry also met Hayley Cassin, from Rotherham, winner of the Inspirational Young Person aged 12-14 category Credit: Yui Mok/PA

Another award winner, seven-year-old Poppy Higham, from Runcorn, danced to music by Ed Sheeran in front of Harry, to which he gave warm applause.

The duke then played around with a giraffe balloon and showed Poppy its rotating head, prompting the youngster to pick it up and play with it.

Harry was given an ice hockey shirt by award-winner Blake McCaughey from Co Armagh Credit: Yui Mok/PA

It was the first time the royal had been seen in the UK since his high-profile legal case at the High Court against Mirror Group Newspapers in June.

Meghan was not with Harry in the UK, but will join him at the Invictus Games – the tournament for injured and sick military veterans - in Germany next week. Harry is heading to the games in Dusseldorf straight after Thursday's event.

The fleeting nature of this visit to the UK left little time for Prince Harry to see his father or brother, King Charles and the Prince of Wales.

The Duke of Sussex met 11-year-old George Hall, from Skipton, North Yorkshire, who was receiving an Inspirational Young Person award Credit: Yui Mok/PA

The Royal Family is not planning to hold any public events to mark the death of the late Monarch and will spend the day privately on the Balmoral estate in Aberdeenshire where she died.

Harry’s brother Prince William was out in Bournemouth on Thursday at a Pret a Manger focusing on the pledge he made earlier this year to eradicate homelessness where he had a surprise visit from footballing legend, Paul Gascoigne.

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