Prince Harry takes a solo outing for an important cause, while Duchess Meghan readies for Baby Sussex’s arrival

He’s going to become a dad any day now but it hasn’t stopped the Prince from getting out and supporting a cause very close to his heart.
Prince Harry at YMCA for Heads TogetherGetty Images

While Duchess Meghan prepares to welcome Baby Sussex in the coming weeks, Prince Harry made a solo appearance on Wednesday at the YMCA in South Ealing, London to continue his work within the mental health space.

The Duke met with ‘Mental Health Champions’, who provide a peer support programme in schools and around the community, education and awareness workshops and face-to-face counselling to those who need it.

He also joined a roundtable discussion meeting the UK’s leading mental health charities and organisations convened by Heads Together – a campaign spearheaded by Harry along with Prince William and Duchess Catherine two years ago – and also popped in to meet parents and young children practicing for their ballet recital later in the day, a class which helps to fund the mental health support programmes.

Prince Harry chats to children at a ballet class at the YMCA. (Image: Getty)

Following his visit, a carousel of images were uploaded to Harry and Meghan’s brand new Instagram account, @sussexroyal, the first royal engagement to be shared since launching on Tuesday.

The caption, which quoted Harry, said: “‘There continues to be huge progress in smashing the stigma that surrounds mental health, but let’s keep normalising the conversation.

“Let’s keep reminding each other that it’s okay to not be okay, and to listen to each other.

“After all, how we think determines how we act, how we feel, and how we treat ourselves and those around us.’ – The Duke of Sussex.”

During the visit Harry discussed with the representatives from the charities some of the underlying causes of mental wellbeing challenges that young people face and spoke about his concerns with social media and online games.

“Growing up in today’s world, social media is more addictive than drugs and alcohol,” Harry said.

“Yet it’s more dangerous because it’s normalised and there are no restrictions to it.

“We are in a mind-altering time.”

However added, “We are in exciting time because everybody in this room has an opportunity to actually make a real difference so that young people coming through are less connected to their phones.”

Following the discussion, CEO of charity Young Minds Emma Thomas spoke to People, saying the discourse had been very fruitful.

“It wasn’t just a sharing of experiences but very much how do we come together to do more together for young people.

“We recognise that there is a crisis in terms of need and accessing support – but a recognition that we can play a stronger role together,” she said.

She also praised Harry and said it was clear he was incredibly passionate and had a long-term commitment to the cause.

21-year-old Sophia Zahra, a Mental Health Champion for the YMCA also spoke to Harry about the negative impacts of social media.

“He was amazing, he was really lovely,” she told People.

“It brings so much needed attention to mental health. He listened to what we had to say, he was really interested in our stories.

“He was really empathetic.”

Prince Harry joins a roundtable discussion with mental health charities, convened by Heads Together. (Image: Getty)

On Tuesday, Prince Harry and Meghan launched their official Instagram profile, splitting from the @KensingtonRoyal account they had shared with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Less than six hours after creating the account, the royals had already broken the Guinness World Record for the fastest time to reach one million followers on Instagram, at five hours and 45 minutes, trumping the previous record held by K-Pop star Kang Daniel.

The move is part of the formal split between the Sussexes and Cambridges, and Harry and Meghan set up their own royal court, with their official office moving out of Kensington Palace and into Buckingham Palace.

It also comes at the perfect time to announce the birth of their first child later this month, which is likely to be shared by @sussexroyal, as no official Twitter account has currently been announced for the couple.

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