Prince Harry made an unscheduled video appearance to give his friend and Strictly Come Dancing contestant JJ Chalmers a personal message of support.
This marks the Duke of Sussex’s first TV appearance in the UK since him and his wife Meghan Markle stepped down as senior members of the royal family earlier this year.
Harry was shown having a video chat with Chalmers and his dance partner, Amy Dowden, as he spoke from a white couch, decorated with printed cushions, while candles and artwork were seen in the background.
“Nice tan, JJ,” the Duke joked.
“When I first met JJ he was a shell of himself but then to see you shine through Invictus and to be yourself again, that was the start of an amazing journey.”
“You’re definitely having an impact on society now especially when you’re wearing those tight blue shorts and the socks pulled up,” he added.
“It doesn’t get better than that! I’m genuinely proud. You’re not a dancer, proving that you can actually do whatever you put your mind to which is amazing.”
Chalmers is the Duke’s longtime friend and fellow British military veteran turned TV presenter, who suffered major injuries, including the loss of two fingers in an IED blast in Afghanistan in 2011.
Three years later, he won medals at the Invictus Games, an international Paralympic-style sports competition for wounded and ill military personnel and veterans that the Duke founded.
“The simple fact is, if Prince Harry had not created the Invictus Games, I would not have had that catalyst moment to change my life forever,” said Chalmers.
He continued by sharing Harry’s vision for the Invictus Games, which is to help participants and “send them off so they could have an impact on society.”
A senior royal source revealed that the timing of Harry’s cameo on Strictly Come Dancing, the original British version of Dancing With the Stars on BBC, was “surprising” given its recent controversy over its 1995 interview with Harry’s late mother Princess Diana.
“The Duke is obviously aware of it,” Harry’s spokesperson said in an interview.