Prince Harry appears as Spider-Man in special message to bereaved children

Harry recorded a video message for youngsters at Scotty’s Little Soldiers, the charity for bereaved British forces children.
Prince Harry appears as Spider-Man in special message to bereaved children

By Helen William, PA

Britain's Prince Harry dressed up as Spider-Man in a surprise video message to try and comfort bereaved children.

He donned the superhero outfit and only lifted his mask to reveal his true identity at the end of a specially recorded message for youngsters at Scotty’s Little Soldiers, a charity for bereaved British forces children and young people.

Harry, who was 12 when his mother Diana, Princess of Wales died in 1997, told the youngsters: “Christmas is a time when we miss our loved ones really, really badly and that’s OK.

Members of Scotty’s Little Soldiers at their annual Christmas party (Archewell/PA)

“But at the same time, it can be possible to feel guilty for having fun without our parents. But I am here to assure you that our parents always want us to have fun, OK? So don’t feel guilty.

“You are allowed to have the best time ever, especially with this Scotty’s Little Soldiers community.

“Go out there, have the best time, and Merry Christmas.”

The video comes a day after a trip to the US by Prince William and Kate was overshadowed by a race row which saw William’s godmother Lady Susan Hussey quit her job.

She resigned as a royal aide after repeatedly questioning a black British-born domestic abuse charity boss about where she “really came from”.

A trailer promoting Harry and Meghan’s Netflix docuseries was released on Thursday, with the timing interpreted by some royal commentators as a snub to William and Kate.

Harry’s video message was played to members of Scotty’s Little Soldiers at their annual Christmas party, where the theme was heroes and villains.

The children were told villains were trying to ruin Christmas by stealing and locking away Santa’s presents.

They were then tasked with saving the big day by completing challenges to defeat the baddies and free the gifts.

After watching Harry’s video, Jamie Small (14), who was eight when his father died in 2016, said: “This isn’t just a person from a small village. He’s someone people all over the world know and he has taken the time to record a special message for us, which means a lot.”

A child member of Scotty’s Little Soldiers reacting to Harry’s video (Archewell/ PA)

Emily Reynolds (12) was seven when her father died in 2018.

She said: “It’s cool that someone who’s been through the same experience as us is thinking about us. He’s not just someone who’s trying to be sympathetic, he actually knows what it’s like to grow up without your parent. My friends think it’s really cool that I get letters and messages from Prince Harry.”

Ben O’Donnell (14), who was nine weeks old when his father died in 2008, added: “It’s not the first time Prince Harry has shown us that he’s thinking about us and it’s good to hear from him again this Christmas. He’s gone to a lot of effort, which shows he genuinely cares. It’s great he wore the Spider-Man outfit. Maybe he’ll be the next Spider-Man!”

One of the organisers said Scotty’s members can relate to a lot of fictional superheroes – with Spider-Man, Batman and Superman all bereaved.

They said the youngsters all have hero parents and they believe the children are heroes too. The youngsters were given capes to decorate and wear at the party.

In 2019, Harry dressed up as Santa to deliver a video message to the charity’s children.

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