Harry jokes about ‘heavy baby’ as he and Meghan celebrate military veterans

The Duke of Sussex has joked about the weight of his unborn child as he joined his wife in celebrating the achievements of military veterans at an awards ceremony.

Harry quipped "there's a heavy baby in there" at a reception ahead of the Endeavour Fund Awards, while Meghan praised her husband saying: "He's going to be a good daddy."

The couple attended the glittering event recognising the achievements of men and women who, despite life-changing injuries, accidents or illnesses, have excelled in a sporting or adventure challenge.

Their appearance came after the duchess' close friends spoke out about the "global bullying" the royal had been experiencing.

One of the five unnamed women told People magazine: "Meg has silently sat back and endured the lies and untruths."

Another friend said the duchess had penned a message to her father Thomas Markle after she married Harry in May last year, pleading with him to stop his public criticisms.

Meghan's confidante told the magazine: "After the wedding she wrote him a letter. She's like, 'Dad, I'm so heartbroken. I love you. I have one father. Please stop victimising me through the media so we can repair our relationship.'"

Cradling her baby bump the heavily pregnant duchess, who wore a Givenchy outfit, met nominees alongside her husband at the historic Drapers' Hall in the City of London.

And at the end of the night the duchess presented the celebrating excellence award to Nathan Forster, a former private in the Parachute Regiment, whose left leg was seriously injured in an explosion but he is now a pilot with travel operator Tui.

Meghan told the awards ceremony one of the nominees agreed with the couple's comment that the "ripple effect" of the awards was important.

She added: "But what I reminded him – and I feel it's true for all the nominees – is you don't have that ripple effect unless each of you is brave enough to make that first wave.

"And it's so important to remember that because what you're doing is inspiring so many people – so thank you from all of us for being that inspiration."