Prince Harry has long been an advocate of mental health awareness; and he put the issue front and centre with a surprise appearance at the London Marathon today
Their first baby is due any minute, but father-to-be Prince Harry still managed to find time apart from his wife Meghan Markle today, to support a cause they both believe strongly in.
The Duke of Sussex put in a surprise appearance at London Marathon, to pose with winners Eliud Kipchoge and Brigid Kosgei (above), and share a message around mental wellness.
Writing on the Sussex Royal Instagram page, Harry noted that “mental fitness is absolutely crucial to our wellbeing”.
“These runners not only set a goal for themselves personally and emotionally, but the majority of runners choose to raise money for charity,” he said. “It’s the perfect fusion of doing something good for yourself while doing good for others.”
Harry, the sixth in line to the British throne, has been candid about his own mental health issues in the past.
In a 2017 interview with campaigner Bryony Gordon, the prince said he “came very close to a complete breakdown” after failing to deal with his feelings around his mother’s death (Harry was 12 when Diana died in a car crash in Paris).
Harry said his brother, Prince William, encouraged him to seek support via therapy; and he also took up boxing, which he found helpful as a source of stress relief.
“I can’t encourage people enough to just have that conversation because you will be surprised firstly, how much support you get and secondly, how many people literally are longing for you to come out,” Harry said at the time.
That year, he supported Gordon in running the London Marathon as part of the Heads Together campaign. The initiative aims to erase the stigma around mental health, and is jointly endorsed by Harry, his brother William, Megan and Kate Middleton.
Harry also joined forces with American royalty Oprah recently, to unveil a documentary series around mental health awareness due out on Apple TV next year.
Harry and Meghan’s first baby is due any day now, and the couple have chosen to keep the birth relatively private.
The duo have indicated they will not pose on the steps of the hospital with their newborn, in keeping with royal tradition. Instead, the first announcement of the birth may well come via Instagram.
Other reports suggest Meghan may choose to give birth at home or at a local NHS maternity ward near their home in Windsor, rather than the private Lindo wing of St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington (where William and Kate welcomed their three children).
“The Duke and Duchess look forward to sharing the exciting news with everyone once they have had an opportunity to celebrate privately as a new family,” a statement from Buckingham Palace recently said.
Also today, it’s been revealed that Harry and Meghan’s baby may accompany them on a two-week tour of Africa in October, becoming one of the youngest members of the royal family to be included on an official trip.
It’s not yet known whether the baby will be a boy or a girl. Either way, Meghan has confirmed her “little bump” will be raised a feminist.