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Prince Harry to attend charity awards ceremony on first UK return since June

The Duke of Sussex hasn’t been back to the UK since June  (PA Wire)
The Duke of Sussex hasn’t been back to the UK since June (PA Wire)

The Duke of Sussex is to return to the UK for the first time since June to attend a charity awards ceremony.

Harry will celebrate the achievements and resilience of seriously-ill youngsters and their families who are supported by WellChild at the event in London on Thursday.

The awards ceremony is taking place on the eve of the first anniversary of the death of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.

The UK’s longest-serving monarch died peacefully at Balmoral in Scotland on September 8 last year, aged 96, after reigning for 70 years.

Harry last appeared publicly in the UK three months ago for his high-profile legal case at the High Court against Mirror Group Newspapers.

He has been WellChild’s patron for 15 years and regularly attends its annual awards ceremony, but the Duchess of Sussex, a guest at past events, is not expected to join him.

Last year’s awards were held on the day the Queen died, forcing the duke and duchess to withdraw from the event as Harry flew to Scotland to be with other members of the royal family.

The awards ceremony is being held a few days before Harry’s Invictus Games – for wounded military personnel and veterans – begins in Dusseldorf, Germany, on Saturday and is staged over eight days.

Harry said: “For nearly 20 years, WellChild has been transforming the lives of children and young people across the UK, providing critical care that prioritises the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of these individuals and their families.”

During the event, the duke will spend time with the winners and their families at a pre-ceremony reception before presenting the award for Inspirational Child (aged four to six) and delivering a speech.

WellChild chief executive Matt James said: “The number of children and young people in the UK 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 recognise 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.”