Prince Harry wrote a letter to the charity Scotty’s Little Soldiers, which supports bereaved children who have lost a parent to the Armed Forces. The official Twitter account for the charity, @CorporalScotty tweeted: “Today on Remembrance Sunday our members have received a very special letter from Prince Harry.”
The Duke of Sussex wrote in his letter: “We share a bond…because we share in having lost a parent. I know first hand the pain and grief that comes with loss…you are not alone.”
He continued: “While difficult feelings will come up today as we pay tribute to heroes like your mum or dad, I hope you can find comfort and strength in knowing that their love for you lives and shines on.
“Whenever you need a reminder of this, I encourage you to lean into your friends at Scotty’s Little Soldiers.
“One of the ways I’ve learnt to cope has been through community and talking about my grief and I couldn’t be more grateful and relieved that you have amazing people walking beside you throughout your journey.
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“We all know some days are harder than others but together those days are made easier.”
Speech analyst and body language expert Judi James spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk to analyse Harry’s letter and the symbolism behind certain phrases.
She said: “A technique that both Prince Harry and Meghan Markle use when dealing with problems like grief, negative childhood experiences, financial hardship and sexism, racism and misogyny is that of emphatic empathy.
“For instance, ‘I know how this feels for you because I have suffered similar,’ is a theme of Meghan’s podcasts and Harry’s speeches on subjects like mental health.”
According to Judi, any instance of “children who have lost parents” ends up “triggering” the Duke of Sussex and reminding him about “the loss of his mother”, Princess Diana, who was tragically killed in a car crash in 1997.
She claimed: “This very sweet-toned letter to children who have lost parents in conflict triggers Harry’s emotional responses to the loss of his mother and he is keen to let the children know that he shares their pain because he has also suffered.
“This is a commonly-used technique of empathy.”
However, Judi also suggests that “grieving people” might appreciate a different tone.
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“Harry’s ‘I’ word persists though, as he tells the children ‘I know first-hand…’ and ‘one of the ways I’ve learned to cope…’ as he promotes the act of ‘talking about your grief’.”
The speech analyst opined that Harry “evokes his own grief” to help him “understand the grief of other children”.
She noted: “The Duke of Sussex clearly seems to find it easier to understand the grief of children who have lost parents on the battlefield and to reach out to them verbally by evoking his own grief at the loss of his mother.
“The later use of ‘I’ might be more relatable: ‘I salute you…’ and ‘I am incredibly proud of you…’ are signature messages that might help with bravery and confidence.”