There was certainly a dose of cheer being spread in Windsor yesterday, when The Duke and Duchess of Sussex surprised armed forces families with an appearance at a local gathering.
Prince Harry and Meghan went to an army wives’ coffee morning, to offer their support for the families left behind when soldiers are deployed on tours of duty. Windsor is home to a number of regiments – including the Coldstream Guards and the Welsh Guards – and the gathering at the Broom Farm Community Centre is at the “heart” of the Army’s housing estate.
The Coldstream Guards are currently in Kenya, on exercise, and the Welsh Guards have been in the Falklands since July. Both sets of troops are also due to go to Afghanistan in the near future.
Very few people at the event knew the royal couple would be joining them, and some squeals and gasps could be heard as the Duke and Duchess entered the room.
During the visit, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex spoke to those whose the loved ones are away, serving their country. Harry reflected on their situation, having been in the army for 10 years serving two tours of duty, and said how much he would miss his son, Archie, if he had to leave.
“I can’t imagine what it’s like to miss so much, as they change so quickly,” the Duke commented.
Victoria Tucker, whose partner is in the army, spoke to the Royals. “They were talking about Army life, being away for Christmas…they can compare with us,” she said. “They didn’t want to miss anything, with their little boy now, just how our husbands miss their children.”
With lots of toddlers running around, and babies being tended to, chatter for the couple inevitably turned to children and parenting.
Meghan mentioned that Archie now has two of his teeth, while Prince Harry said “how little Archie was starting to crawl, how they’ve started eating different foods, [making] all of the funny faces,” explained Amy Thompson, who was at the coffee morning.
“Harry was really quite interested in how things were with second children, as well because we both have older children,” Susie Stringfellow said. “We were trying to encourage him to have a second baby.”
Just as the couple were leaving, they were presented with flowers – but one youngster didn’t want to let go, and promptly walked off with the posy she was holding for the Duchess!
Earlier this morning, Harry and Meghan visited the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey, and also posted about this Windsor visit on Instagram, with the caption:
“During the visit yesterday, Their Royal Highnesses met with young families who shared their experiences as parents and as couples who are often apart from their loved ones for months at a time. A reminder that a life of service does not simply describe the person wearing the uniform, but the entire family.