Harry’s beard piques toddler’s interest during visit to children’s hospital
The Duke of Sussex was opening a new £40 million wing at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
The Duke of Sussex’s beard was the centre of attention when Harry met a young patient at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
Noah Nicholson, who is two-years-old next week, grabbed the royal whiskers as Harry chatted at his bedside, leaving the duke laughing and clearly smitten by the youngster.
Harry said to the toddler: “Have you never seen a beard before?”
Noah then proceeded to pick up a soft shoe which he appeared to aim at the royal visitor’s head, prompting Harry to tell him: “Don’t throw it at me.”
But the little patient got the last laugh, as he whacked the duke with his favourite toy giraffe.
Noah’s mother, Tracy Nicholson, 36, from Grimsby, said he had been in hospital for most of his life after he was born at 27 weeks and has had multiple problems with his intestines.
Ms Nicholson said Harry was “really good with the children.”
The duke was at the hospital to open a new £40 million wing.
As he arrived, he signed the visitors’ book and examined the signature of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, who visited almost 30 years ago, in November 1989.
As he left, he joked with nurse Julie Austin, who was inside the costume of hospital mascot Theo and also met Harry’s mother during her 1989 visit.
Dressed in an open-necked shirt, a casual blue jacket and blue trousers, Harry chatted with children on one of the new wards as well as in the playroom and specialist plaster room where youngsters with broken limbs have their casts put on with a range of colourful decorating options.
Crowds of phone-holding spectators were out on the streets as Harry arrived at his next engagement at Sheffield Hallam University’s Cantor Building.
While there, the duke was shown virtual reality rehabilitation technology which helps make it easier for amputees to train themselves to use prosthetic limbs.
He met with 58-year-old Maurice Lee, an amputee for more than 20 years, who demonstrated how the software can help simulate the feeling of having full use of his right arm.
Harry seemed impressed by the technology and joked with Mr Lee as he put on the large headset and showed off the technology.
The royal was then shown a racing car which was built by engineering students at the university and recently raced at Silverstone.
He discussed the car’s specifications, and watched student Samuel Brook get inside the cockpit of the vehicle.
Before unveiling a plaque to commemorate his visit, Harry joked with crowds of staff assembled on the balcony above him, saying: “Is this what you guys have been waiting for? I hope it’s good.”
Harry ended his visit to Sheffield at the Invictus UK Trials at the English Institute of Sport.
The duke chatted with powerlifters as they waited for their turn to compete, including Jaco Van Bilion – a former Army engineer who said he last spoke to Harry when he was fixing his Apache helicopter ahead of their deployment to Afghanistan in 2011.
Harry spent time chatting with the families and friends of competitors before watching the medal ceremony for the women’s middleweight powerlifting.