Harry then presents them with a challenge to “save Christmas” by defeating villains who have stolen Father Christmas’s presents. The children took part in a series of challenges as part of a Heroes and Villains themed party.
The Duke says in the clip: “I hope you guys got some rest before tonight’s excitement. I hear from Sharky and George that there are five villains that you guys need to stop from ruining Christmas. So, use your teamwork, your brains and your brawn to make sure that you do exactly that. Find them and don’t let them ruin Christmas, okay?”
In a heartfelt message to the children, Harry then says: “At the same time, Christmas is a time we will miss our loved ones really, really badly. And that’s okay.
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“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, okay?
“So don’t feel guilty. You’re allowed to have the best time ever, especially with this Scotty’s Little Soldiers community.”
The Duke of Sussex adds: “So, go out there and have the best time, and…”
At this point, the Prince then lifts his Spiderman mask to reveal his identity to the children.
He then whispers: “Merry Christmas.”
After watching Harry’s video, Jamie Small, 14, who was eight when his father, Corporal Christopher Small, 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.”
Emily Reynolds, 12, was seven when her father, Sergeant Antony Reynolds, 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, Warrant Officer Class 2 Gary O’Donnell, 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.
Scotty’s, which aims to support children so they do not feel alone, was picked to benefit from donations marking Harry and Meghan’s wedding in 2018.
It offers access to child bereavement support, guidance for parents and carers and personal education and learning assistance.
And it gives gifts at tough times of the year, such as birthdays, Christmas and the anniversary of the parent’s death – as well as putting on activities and hosting group events.
The charity was set up by war widow Nikki Scott in 2010 after the death of her husband, Corporal Lee Scott, in Afghanistan.
It is not the first time Harry has delivered a Christmas message for Scotty’s Little Soldiers.
The Duke appeared dressed as Father Christmas in 2019, urging the children to create as much chaos as possible at that year’s festive party.
After delivering a hearty “Ho, ho, ho”, he told them: “I know how incredibly strong you are. [L]osing a parent is incredibly hard… Your parents will never be forgotten.”
Harry, whose mother Diana, Princess of Wales, was killed in a car crash in Paris in 1997, also wrote to the charity in November as the country observed Remembrance Day.
“Whenever you need a reminder of this, I encourage you to lean into your friends at Scotty’s Little Soldiers. One of the ways I’ve learned to cope has been through community and talking about my grief, and I couldn’t be more grateful and relieved that you have amazing people walking beside you throughout your journey.
“We all know some days are harder than others, but together those days are made easier.
“Today and every day, I admire and respect all the men and women who have given their lives in service of us – especially those in your family.”
Source: EXPRESS CO UK