The Invictus Games Foundation 10th Anniversary Service

Prince Harry candidly discussed his childhood grief at a charitable event. The Duke of Sussex, 39, serves as the global ambassador for Scotty’s Little Soldiers, a UK charity that supports children who have lost parents in the military.

On Thursday, the charity released a video titled “From Grief to Growth” on their YouTube channel. The footage, filmed in May, captures Harry’s conversation with the charity’s founder, Nikki Scott.

Harry joined Scott during his visit to the UK in early May, after playing games with 50 children involved in Scotty’s Little Soldiers. Scott lost her husband, Corporal Lee Scott, in Afghanistan and established the charity after witnessing the impact on her own children.

Harry, a father of two himself, spent most of the conversation inquiring about Scott’s experiences as a widow and mother, highlighting the positive changes she brought to the children involved in the charity. He commended Scott, stating that the smiles she brought to these children’s faces act as an “antidote” to their pain.

Harry, who lost his mother, Princess Diana, at age 12, then shared his own experience with grief.

“It’s so easy as a kid to think or convince yourself—I would know, I was 12—that you need to be sad for as long as possible to prove to them that they’re missed,” he said. “But then there’s this realization that they must want me to be happy.”

They discussed the importance of celebrating the life of a deceased parent, and Harry acknowledged that while it’s often easier to avoid discussing pain, celebrating leads to “things getting easier.”

Princess Diana passed away in a car accident in Paris, France, on August 31, 1997. In a January 2023 ahead of the release of his , Harry revealed seeking therapy later in life to cope with the loss, and expressed empathy for his father, King Charles III [then the Prince of Wales], for having to inform him and his older brother, Prince William, of their mother’s death.

Scott, meanwhile, shared her experience of informing her then 5-year-old son Kai about his father’s death and raising her then seven-month-old daughter Brooke.

During a roundtable discussion earlier that day with children and volunteers, Harry shared that he refrained from talking about his mother’s death for 10 years. However, once he finally addressed it, it transformed his life.

“That’s what I was saying to [the kids]: if you suppress it for too long, you can’t suppress it forever; it’s not sustainable,” he told Scott. “It will eat away at you.”

One girl expressed the significance of hearing Harry’s experiences and feeling understood. “It felt very personal and like he understood what we were going through,” she said.