Harry and Meghan share details of life with six-month-old Archie
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have shared details about life with baby son Archie – telling a group of military families he is beginning to crawl.
Harry also praised those who maintain a home life while their partner is away on operations and sympathised with service personnel missing out on their child’s development while serving abroad.
The royal couple met families from the Welsh Guards, Coldstream Guards and Household Cavalry on Wednesday when they visited a regular coffee morning at Windsor’s Broom Farm Community Centre, located in the heart of an Army housing estate.
The majority of the Coldstream Guards are on exercise in Kenya and a large proportion of the Welsh Guards are coming to the end of a long deployment to the Falklands.
Harry, who served for 10 years as an Army officer, said he was in awe of military families holding it together back home, saying: “It’s unbelievably hard. I have so much respect and admiration for anyone who has to deal with that.”
The Sussexes took Archie to southern Africa last month for their first official tour as a family and the duke empathised with service personnel who are away from their children.
He said: “I can’t imagine what it’s like to miss so much as they change so quickly.”
Meghan chatted to parents about her son, who is six months old on Thursday, and shared stories about his development with Amy Thompson, whose husband Brad is attached to the Welsh Guards.
Ms Thompson said: “My daughter Aeris is the same age as Archie and we talked about weaning and the children beginning to crawl – she’s just a normal mum and it was like talking to a friend.”
During the visit, Harry was pictured holding a little girl while Meghan high-fived a toddler.
Army spouse Leigh Smith took her eight-year-old daughter Molly to meet the royal visitors and the youngster said: “Meghan promised not to tell anyone that I was off school. She asked me who my best friend was.”
Ms Smith added: “We had a party when Harry and Meghan got married and we’ve followed their story ever since, so it was an amazing experience for Molly to shake hands with them. It’s really special and a lovely boost for the whole community.”
Coldstream Guards welfare officer Captain Colin Lewis said the visit was a welcome tonic after a tough 18 months.
The officer said: “The regiment are really appreciative of the support the families provide by picking up the burden when the service person is away.
“It’s great for the duke and duchess to take the time to truly understand the challenges they face. They are very down to earth and they’ve had a snapshot of the entire community here by talking to lots of people from different backgrounds.”
Tariq Baksh, from the Household Cavalry welfare team, also felt that the couple could relate to many of the families as young parents, saying: “They’re a modern family and completely empathised with people – our families realised that they’re no different.”
Helen Llewelyn-Usher, wife of Welsh Guards Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Henry Llewelyn-Usher, said the visit will help families to make new friends.
She said: “It’s amazing that Harry and Meghan found time to fit this in to their busy schedule – they shook hands with every single person. It brought together lots of people and now they will always have this amazing memory in common.”