The duke was attending London’s annual WellChild awards, a day honouring seriously ill children and their caregivers in the U.K.
He revealed that while attending the event last year with Markle, they both knew they were expecting baby Archie — but that they’d had to keep it a secret.
That’s why, he said, his attendance this year was all the more special.
“Last year, when my wife and I attended, we knew we were expecting our first child — no one else did at the time, but we did — and I remember,” he said.
The new dad bowed his head to collect himself, sniffling once or twice and apologizing a couple times for the pause. The crowd erupted in supportive applause.
“I remember squeezing Meghan’s hand so tight during the awards, both of us thinking what it would be like to be parents one day,” he continued.
“And more so, what it would be like to do everything we could to protect and help our child should they be born with immediate challenges or become unwell over time.
“And now, as parents, being here and speaking to all of you pulls at my heartstrings in a way I could have never understood until I had a child of my own,” he said.
The duchess joined him for the occasion, marking the couple’s first joint engagement since they wrapped up their African royal tour at the beginning of the month.
Their five-month-old baby, who made his royal engagement debut in South Africa, was a hot topic at the event.
The royal couple spent time chatting at a reception for the award winners, and a vital question was asked: is Archie a redhead like his dad?
“Meghan said he has and Harry said he definitely is, you can see it in his eyebrows,” winner Milly Sutherland’s mom Angela told People.
“Harry said he’d had no hair for five months, but Meghan told him she had taken him to the playgroup and said there were other children there with the same amount of hair or even less.”
Prince Harry has been the royal patron of WellChild since 2007.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex selected the charitable organization as one of the charities to receive donations made by the public to celebrate the birth of Archie.