Prince Harry made no mention of his father’s cancer when he popped up in Las Vegas to make an ultra-British and gag-filled speech comparing rugby to American football at a NFL awards ceremony last night.
The Duke of Sussex flew to Sin City just 24 hours after landing in LA following a 11,000-mile round trip to London to see King Charles for 45 minutes.
Harry was not expected to be seen again until he travels with Meghan to Canada next week for an Invictus Games event but shocked the audience as he turned up to hand out the Walter Payton Man of the Year award.
The winner, Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle Cameron Heyward, was just as surprised to see him, hugging the duke, before he exclaimed: ‘Prince freakin Harry, I’m just shocked, that’s Prince Harry’.
Harry appeared in public for the first time since his father’s diagnosis on Thursday night – but there was no mention of his father, who has started cancer treatment. Hours earlier Prince William thanked the public for their support when he attended an awards ceremony with Tom Cruise in London the day before.
Harry has famously been to Vegas before. Going on a lads holiday before meeting Meghan where he reportedly ‘ran up a £30,000’ bill at a luxury hotel, went to a wet and wild pool party with J-Lo and was later pictured covering his privates during a late-night game of strip billiards.
But 12 years on he was back in Vegas again with a big grin on his face as the audience cheered him, Harry joked about that the United States ‘stole rugby from us and you made it your own’.
Poking fun at what might have happened when American Football was created, he said: ‘Instead of passing it backwards, just pass it forwards. Why not wear pads and a helmet?’ Of course, have an offence and defence, that makes sense, and why not have a breather every 15 seconds? And you know what? Instead of a 10-month season, let’s just make it 18 weeks. Genius’.
He went on: ‘All kidding aside, what you guys do on and off the field is truly remarkable. You are role models for millions in the way you carry yourselves and the way you give back. This final award, the highest honour, is all about serving your community, and there is one special man we’d like to pay tribute to now.’
Prince Harry has returned to the United States to hand out an NFL award just a day after leaving the UK following a short meeting with his cancer-stricken father King Charles III
An animated Cameron Hayward of the Pittsburgh Steelers poses for a portrait after winning the Walter Payton Man of the year with Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex
The Duke of Sussex , 39, handed the Walter Payton Man of the Year award to Pittsburgh Steelers football player Cameron Heyward
Cameron yelled: ‘Prince freakin Harry, I’m just shocked, that’s Prince Harry’ when he saw him
Harry was full of beans during his speech – but made no mention of his father’s cancer battle
He made a shock appearance at the 2024 NFL Honors ceremony at the Resorts World Theater in Las Vegas on Thursday evening
Prince Harry, middle, presenter of the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award talks to winner Pittsburgh Steelers’ Cameron Heyward, left, as Keegan-Michael Key looks on
ameron Hayward (C) of the Pittsburgh Steelers poses for a portrait after winning the Walter Payton Man of the year with Keegan-Michael Key (L) and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex at the 13th Annual NFL Honors
Prince Harry arrives back at LAX after a short trip to London to briefly see his father
Prince Harry flew into London on a ten-hour flight from Los Angeles on Tuesday and arrived at the royal residence at 2.42pm before spending around 45 minutes with Charles after the King’s surprise cancer disclosure.
Harry, who has been estranged from his father and brother Prince William since leaving royal life, then quickly jetted back to LA and was in Vegas the following day.
Doctors discovered the King’s cancer whilst treating the monarch for an enlarged prostate just over a week prior, according to the Palace.
He returned to his Sandringham estate to recuperate following treatment, arriving via the royal helicopter at around 4.20pm.
He and Harry had a ‘brief meeting’ before the King and Camilla were driven to Buckingham Palace where a helicopter was waiting to take them back to Sandringham in Norfolk.
The Duke is not believed to have seen his brother William or sister-in-law Kate Middleton, who is recovering from her abdominal surgery and on extended leave.
‘William has shown today that he has disowned Harry, he doesn’t want to know him, and he probably doesn’t even like him anymore. Harry is just not part of his life,’ royal expert Jennie Bond told DailyMail.com.
‘That rift is so deep now, and that has been shown by Harry being here and them not meeting, so deep that I really do wonder if it can ever, ever be mended.’
Harry had flown more than 5,000 miles from Los Angeles to London after his father informed him of his diagnosis. He traveled without his two young children Prince Archie, four, and Princess Lilibet, two.
It was their first formal meeting in person since the late Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral in September 2022.
The prince did attend Charles’s coronation at Westminster Abbey in May last year but was not seen interacting with the newly-crowned King and Queen.
Prince Harry flew into London on a ten-hour flight from Los Angeles on Tuesday and arrived at the royal residence at 2.42pm before spending around 45 minutes with Charles
Meghan Markle was all smiles as she drove around near her $14 million Montecito home on Wednesday
The Duchess was out and about while waiting for her husband Prince Harry to return from London where he was visiting his cancer-stricken father King Charles
After meeting with his son, King Charles left Clarence House with Queen Camilla on Tuesday
The quick visit did not feature a reunion with his brother Prince William with the rift between the two since Harry stepped back from royal duties still open
A palace source indicated to The Times that Harry and the King’s meeting was brief because Charles was tired from a procedure on Monday.
Charles was said to have been unhappy as he was left ‘kicking his heels’ waiting for Harry to arrive as he delayed his trip to Sandringham ‘ for ‘peace and quiet.’
But they said the King, 75, and Queen, 76, were ‘coping magnificently’, adding: ‘If you didn’t know what was the matter, you wouldn’t have any idea that he had any condition at all.’
As Harry was in London, Meghan was thought to be have been at home in Montecito with her kids while virtually all of Southern California was under flash flood advisories and watches.
On Wednesday, she was spotted driving a Range Rover in the LA area looking carefree despite her husband’s trip to London to visit the ailing King.
The Duchess of Sussex flashed a smile as she drove around near her $14 million Montecito home. Meghan looked relaxed from behind the wheel of her Range Rover in a baseball cap and dark, oversized sunglasses, and sipped from a coffee mug as she drove along.
Harry jetted back to LA hours after Meghan was spotted driving around town. The next day, the Duke was in Vegas for the NFL Honors where he poked fun at the sport.
‘Really love how you stole Rugby from us,’ Harry, a noted Rugby enthusiast, said.
He then joked about the minor differences, such as passing it forward in football, instead of backward as in Rugby. Or how the NFL needs a break every 15 seconds of play.
But, his real reason on stage was to honor Heyward with one of the league’s top honors.
‘All you guys do on and off the field is truly remarkable. You are role models for millions in the way you carry yourselves and in the way you give back,’ Harry said.
‘I want to say thank you to the Pittsburgh Steelers for giving me this opportunity,’ he said
Heyward seemed surprised by the man presenting the award calling him Prince ‘freaking’ Harry.
‘I want to say thank you to the Pittsburgh Steelers for giving me this opportunity,’ the defensive lineman said.
‘Mike T (Tomlin), it’s an honor to be coached by you. I couldn’t play for any other coach. To my teammates, I’m thankful to be your teammate.’
This was the sixth time the Steelers nominated Heyward for the award. Heyward created the Heyward House Foundation that supports several initiatives in the Pittsburgh area.
The foundation also honors his father, Craig ‘Ironhead’ Heyward, a fullback who played 11 seasons in the NFL. He died in 2006 at 39 of brain cancer.
The Walter Payton Man of the Year award is given to player’s with a commitment to philanthropy and community impact, as well as excellence on the field.