Harry ‘very excited’ about upcoming birth as he greets young royal fan

The Duke of Sussex laughed and joked with a four-year-old girl who presented him with a bouquet of flowers for his pregnant wife as the birth of their first child approaches.

The father-to-be, who said he was “very excited” about the upcoming birth, looked relaxed as he chatted with four-year-old Zofia Zolenkowska, who had been practising her curtsy beforehand.

The Duke of Sussex attends the Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch
Four-year-old Zofia had been practising her curtsy before meeting the duke (Geoff Pugh/The Daily Telegraph/PA)

Harry joined hundreds of soldiers, veterans and beneficiaries at the 12th Big Curry Lunch hosted by the Lord Mayor of the City of London at The Guildhall, which has raised more than £1.9 million since 2008 to support soldiers and veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The duke, who is expecting a baby with wife Meghan later this month or in early May, was also given a handmade wooden baby rattle and an off-white cashmere baby set – which included a shawl, bonnet, booties and mittens, as well as beige lounge socks for the duchess – during the visit.

The Duke of Sussex is greeted by Peter Estlin, the Lord Mayor of the City of London
Harry is greeted by Peter Estlin, the Lord Mayor of the City of London (Geoff Pugh/The Daily Telegraph/PA)

This year’s lunch was organised in aid of the ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity and the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.

The duke spent 10 years serving in the armed forces, ending operational duties in 2015.

During his service he conducted two tours of duty to Afghanistan with the Army.

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After serving in the @BritishArmy for ten years, The Duke of Sussex has committed himself to promoting the welfare of members of the Armed Forces and veterans. The Duke knows the lasting effects military service can have, as soldiers recover from PTS after battle or struggle to get back into the normalities of civilian life. Through his work with servicemen and women, The Duke has also seen how families benefit from extra support when their loved ones are away and adjusting to life back home. He met many soldiers and their families at the Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch in London today. This is an annual event which raises money for @soldierscharity to support those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Duke’s work with wounded servicemen and women has included creating @weareinvictusgames, volunteering with the Army's Personnel Recovery Unit in London, trekking with wounded servicemen and women to the South Pole and in the Arctic and supporting a number of adventure challenges through his Endeavour Fund. The Duchess of Sussex was unfortunately unable to attend today, but has joined her husband in supporting the troops at the Invictus Games, Endeavour Fund and with the TILS Fund, as an extension of her previous work in this space. By participating in events like today’s, The Duke hopes that servicemen and women are recognised for their unique skill set and abilities, and that we all work together to ensure that they and their families have the support they need and deserve during and after service.

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Mark Stevens, a former soldier in the 1st Battalion, the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, remembered his time serving alongside the duke in Afghanistan.

“Prince Harry would get called in, especially by me, on a number of occasions,” Mr Stevens said.

“He used to ‘save my bacon’ when I was a sergeant.”

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