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.
He made a shock appearance at the 2024 NFL Honors ceremony at the Resorts World Theater in Las Vegas on Thursday evening.
The Duke of Sussex, 39, handed the Walter Payton Man of the Year award to Pittsburgh Steelers football player Cameron Heyward.
‘I’m in shock. That’s Prince Harry,’ he joked when he walked up on stage to accept the prize.
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.
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
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
Prince Harry made a surprise appearance at the annual NFL awards presentation to present the Walter Payton Man of the Year award.
It comes just a day after he landed back in Los Angeles following a short trip to visit his father King Charles who was diagnosed with a form of cancer earlier this week.
They 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.
Harry had flown more than 5,000 miles from Los Angeles to London after his father informed him of his diagnosis.
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.
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.
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.’
Prince Harry’s wife Meghan Markle was also seen for the first time since Charles was diagnosed with cancer.
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.
Her appearance on Wednesday was the first time she has been publicly photographed since Prince Harry jetted off to London to visit his ailing father.
Defensive lineman Heyward was presented with the Walter Payton Man of the Year award by the British royal.
‘I want to say thank you to the Pittsburgh Steelers for giving me this opportunity,’ he 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.