Prince Harry, 39, lightheartedly mentioned his dad, King Charles III, 75, when he was inducted into the Living Legends of Aviation on Friday. The Duke of Sussex was presented with the honor by host John Travolta and brought up his surviving parent when reflecting on his first flight in his acceptance speech.
“I think I was maybe 7 or 8 years old, Wessex Helicopter, and I jumped into it very excited. And then my father jumped in behind the controls, and I was terrified,” he said, sparking many laughs from the audience, in a video posted on Twitter, which can be seen below.
“I was maybe 7 or 8 years old, Wessex Helicopter, and I jumped into it very excited…
And then my father jumped in behind the controls… and I was terrified” 😭💀
Prince Harry on his first flight experience pic.twitter.com/JGzWYImzEi
— Iris 🦆 (@IrisTheeScholar) January 20, 2024
King Charles, who recently revealed he’s having surgery for an enlarged prostate this week, has a good deal of experience in aviation and even trained as a jet pilot in the Royal Airforce in the 1970s, according to his royal biography. Harry followed in his footsteps by serving as a helicopter pilot in the British Army for 10 years, which was why he was honored at the award ceremony.
In addition to King Charles, Harry brought up his late mom Princess Diana and how she once danced with John at the White House back in 1985. “I was just a one-year-old when you danced with my mum at the White House and now look at us,” he said to John. “Now I see you again under a new circumstance, on a new stage,” John responded, remembering the moment.
Harry’s appearance at the aviation event comes amid rumors of tension between him and the royal family after the release of his memoir, Spare. A new autobiography by royal journalist Robert Hardman, called Charles III: New King. New Court. The Inside Story, claims Harry’s late grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, was infuriated by his and his wife Meghan Markle’s claim that she had approved them naming their daughter Lilibet, after her. The book also claims the couple was “rebuffed” by Buckingham Palace when they asked them to back up their claim publicly.
“One privately [member of palace staff] recalled that Elizabeth II had been ‘as angry as I’d ever seen her’ in 2021 after the Sussexes announced that she had given them her blessing to call their baby daughter ‘Lilibet’, the Queen’s childhood nickname,” the book reads, according to Daily Mail.
“The couple subsequently fired off warnings of legal action against anyone who dared to suggest otherwise, as the BBC had done,” the book continues. “However, when the Sussexes tried to co-opt the Palace into propping up their version of events, they were rebuffed.”
Shortly after Lilibet’s name was announced, the BBC reported a palace source said the Queen “was not asked by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex about naming their daughter Lilibet”. Harry and Meghan then accused the broadcasters of libel but the threat of legal action “evaporated and the libel action against the BBC never materialised,” according to the book.
Harry and Meghan have yet to publicly comment on the claims.