Prince Harry pens letter to bereaved children of members of the Armed Forces to mark Remembrance Day

Prince Harry sent a letter to bereaved children of members of the British Armed Forces claiming they share a bond due to having lost a parent.

In a note to members of Scotty’s Little Soldiers, a charity for bereaved British Forces children and young people, the Duke of Sussex said they are all in his ‘thoughts and heart’ on Remembrance Sunday and reminded them: ‘You are not alone.’

Harry said one of the ways he has personally learned to cope has been ‘through community and talking about my grief’.

His letter comes as two members of Scotty’s Little Soldiers, ages 8 and 14, shared how Remembrance Day helps them feel connected to their late fathers.

The organisation, which has a long-standing relationship with Harry, says they are grateful for his ‘continued support.’

Prince Harry (pictured in September) sent a letter to bereaved children of members of the British Armed Forces claiming they share a bond due to having lost a parent

Prince Harry (pictured in September) sent a letter to bereaved children of members of the British Armed Forces claiming they share a bond due to having lost a parent

In a note to members of Scotty's Little Soldiers, a charity for bereaved British Forces children and young people, Harry said they are all in his 'thoughts and heart' on Remembrance Sunday. Pictured: Scotty's Little Soldiers members alongside 14-year-old Ben O'Donnell (front, centre)

In a note to members of Scotty’s Little Soldiers, a charity for bereaved British Forces children and young people, Harry said they are all in his ‘thoughts and heart’ on Remembrance Sunday. Pictured: Scotty’s Little Soldiers members alongside 14-year-old Ben O’Donnell (front, centre)

The Duke of Sussex, in his later dated November 13, told the children they are in his ‘thoughts and heart’ this Remembrance Sunday.

‘We share a bond even without ever meeting one another, because we share in having lost a parent,’ Harry wrote.

‘I know first-hand the pain and grief that comes with loss and want you to know that you are not alone.

‘While difficult feelings will come up today as we pay tribute to heroes like your mum or dad, I hope you can find comfort and strength in knowing that their love for you lives and shines on.

‘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.’

He added: ‘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.

‘I am also incredibly proud of you for being the best example in remembering them.’

Harry told the children he knows 'first-hand the pain and grief that comes with loss' of a parent. The Duke of Sussex (centre) is pictured with his late mother, Princess Diana (left), and older brother William (right) in 1989

Harry told the children he knows ‘first-hand the pain and grief that comes with loss’ of a parent. The Duke of Sussex (centre) is pictured with his late mother, Princess Diana (left), and older brother William (right) in 1989

The Duke of Sussex, in his later dated November 13, told the children they are in his 'thoughts and heart' this Remembrance Sunday

The Duke of Sussex, in his later dated November 13, told the children they are in his ‘thoughts and heart’ this Remembrance Sunday

Luca-Beau, 8, is one of many Scotty’s Little Soldiers members who honoured a late parent today. She laid the Scotty’s memorial wreath at the Cenotaph on behalf of all the bereaved military children who attended the Remembrance Day service.

Luca-Beau’s father, CSgt Jamie Pallister, died by suicide before she was born.

She says her loved ones do ‘lots of nice things to remember’ her father, but she also gets ‘really sad because it reminds me I’m never going to meet him.’

‘Remembrance is important to me because we get to remember my daddy,’ Luca-Beau told the organisation. ‘It shows me there are lots of people who have been through the same things I have.’ 

Remembrance causes mixed emotions for the eight-year-old who, along with her mother and family, honours her hero father by wearing his medals to a parade.

‘Sometimes it makes me happy because we get to think about my dad and do lots of nice things to remember him, but sometimes it makes me really sad because it reminds me I’m never going to meet him,’ she shared.

‘After the parade we always go somewhere to get food and have fun, though.

‘I like doing that because it shows even though Remembrance is a sad day, I can still smile.’

Luca-Beau, 8, (pictured) laid the Scotty's memorial wreath at the Cenotaph today on behalf of all the bereaved military children who attended the Remembrance Day service

Luca-Beau, 8, (pictured) laid the Scotty’s memorial wreath at the Cenotaph today on behalf of all the bereaved military children who attended the Remembrance Day service

Luca-Beau's father, CSgt Jamie Pallister, (pictured) died by suicide before she was born

Luca-Beau’s father, CSgt Jamie Pallister, (pictured) died by suicide before she was born

Luca-Beau (pictured) says her loved ones do 'lots of nice things to remember' her father, but she also gets 'really sad because it reminds me I'm never going to meet him'

Luca-Beau (pictured) says her loved ones do ‘lots of nice things to remember’ her father, but she also gets ‘really sad because it reminds me I’m never going to meet him’

Similarly, Ben O’Donnell is remembering his father, WO2 Gary O’Donnell, who was killed in action in Afghanistan when Ben was a baby.

Ben, now 14, says he was ‘too young’ to have any memories of his father, but through his family has ‘learnt a lot about the kind of person he was.’

‘I do find it hard living without a dad, but it helps when my family talk about him,’ the teen shared. 

‘Remembrance means a lot to me as it’s a chance to feel really proud of everything he achieved and remember him in the best way I can.’

Ben, one of the first children to join Scotty’s Little Soldiers, said the charity has offered him a ‘second family’ and helped him connect with others who have went through similar experiences.

‘It reminds me that I’m not alone and helps me remember my dad,’ Ben said of Remembrance Day.

‘I think it’s so important that we keep marking Remembrance every year because we should never forget about all of the soldiers and everyone else who has put their lives on the line for our country. It’s like we’re thanking them. 

Ben O'Donnell (pictured) says he was 'too young' to have any memories of his father, but through his family has 'learnt a lot about the kind of person he was'

Ben O’Donnell (pictured) says he was ‘too young’ to have any memories of his father, but through his family has ‘learnt a lot about the kind of person he was’

His father, WO2 Gary O'Donnell, was killed in action in Afghanistan when Ben was a baby. Ben is pictured holding a photograph of Gary

His father, WO2 Gary O’Donnell, was killed in action in Afghanistan when Ben was a baby. Ben is pictured holding a photograph of Gary

Scotty's Little Soldiers was set up by war widow Nikki Scott in 2010 following the death of her husband Cpl Lee Scott in Afghanistan the previous year. Nikki is pictured with Ben O'Donnell

Scotty’s Little Soldiers was set up by war widow Nikki Scott in 2010 following the death of her husband Cpl Lee Scott in Afghanistan the previous year. Nikki is pictured with Ben O’Donnell

Scotty’s Little Soldiers was set up by war widow Nikki Scott in 2010 following the death of her husband Cpl Lee Scott in Afghanistan the previous year.

Ms Scott saw the devastating impact on their two young children and wanted to help others in the same situation.

She said on Sunday: ‘We are so grateful to Prince Harry for his continued support.

‘Our members know that he truly understands what it’s like to grow up without a parent and it means so much to them to know his thoughts are with them.

‘To receive his letter on Remembrance Sunday has given them a huge boost on a proud but difficult day.’

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