Prince Harry Became Spider-Man For A Very Special Audience

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, has been open about his experience with bereavement in the past. This August marked the 25th year since his mother, Princess Diana, died following a tragic car accident in Paris (per The Washington Post). At the time, Harry was only 12 years old. He grabbed the attention of people all over the world when both he and Prince William participated in the televised funeral procession for Princess Diana, his childhood seemingly coming to an end right in front of the public. "My mother had just died, and I had to walk a long way behind her coffin, surrounded by thousands of people watching me while millions more did on television. I don't think any child should be asked to do that, under any circumstances," he once told Newsweek.

The pain of losing a parent has followed Harry into adulthood, too. In his 2021 docuseries with Oprah Winfrey, "The Me You Can't See," the Duke of Sussex revealed that he had used drugs and alcohol in the past to cope with grief (via People). He also opened up about his fear of losing Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, to a fate similar to his mother's (via Reuters).

Knowing what it feels like to lose a parent at a young age, the Duke of Sussex recently dressed up as Spider-Man to comfort an audience he can relate to.

Prince Harry dressed as Spider-Man for bereaved children

Prince Harry donned a Spider-Man costume for a Christmas video message to the children at Scotty's Little Soldiers, a charity that supports children who have lost a parent in the British forces, BBC reports. "Christmas is a time when we miss our loved ones really, really badly," the Duke of Sussex says in the video, with his Spider-Man mask concealing his face. "I am here to assure you that our parents always want us to have fun. So don't feel guilty. You're allowed to have the best time ever, especially with this Scotty's Little Soldiers community."

At the end of the video, Prince Harry peels back his mask to reveal his real identity underneath. According to the charity's website, the video was played at an annual Christmas party, with a theme of "Heroes and Villains."

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have supported Scotty's Little Soldiers since at least 2018 when it was chosen along with six other charities to receive donations in honor of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding (per Cobseo). Just last month, the Duke of Sussex penned a letter to the group's children, writing, "We share a bond even without ever meeting one another, because we share in having lost a parent. I know first-hand the pain and grief that comes with loss and want you to know that you are not alone."