The Duke of Sussex made headlines this past weekend after virtually stopping by for a sweet surprise on the BBC dance show, “Strictly Come Dancing,” on behalf of his good friend, JJ Chalmers.
Chalmers, a former Royal Marine commando, who appears on the show alongside dance partner Amy Dowden, couldn’t believe his friend was on the other side of the screen when the duke appeared.
“You’re kidding!” he exclaimed, while Harry was quick to quip, “Nice tan, JJ!”
Harry met Chalmers, who became a TV presenter after his time in the Royal Marines, at the prince’s Invictus Games in 2014. Chalmers suffered devastating injuries after an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) detonated while he was serving in Afghanistan in 2011.
He faced many challenges in his recovery, something the duke spoke of during his virtual appearance.
“When I first met JJ he was a shell of himself. But then to see you shine through Invictus and feel like yourself again ― that was the start of an amazing journey,” said the duke, himself a veteran of the British Army.
Harry added, “I’m so proud. Genuinely proud.”
Chalmers called the duke “a veteran, a friend just like anybody else” and thanked Harry for all that his Invictus Games gave him.
“The simple fact is, if Prince Harry had not created the Invictus Games, I would not have had that catalyst moment that changed my life forever,” Chalmers said. “I wouldn’t be here without him.”
Chalmers told Harry: “You know that your vision going into the games was to take this cohort of individuals and send them off so that they could have an impact on society.”
The duke joked that Chalmers is “definitely having an impact on society. Especially when you’re wearing those tight blue shorts.”
In September, Meghan made a reality TV appearance of her own, virtually popping by “America’s Got Talent” to deliver a sweet surprise to contestant Archie Williams, who happens to share the same first name as the royal couple’s son.
“Hi, Archie! I just wanted to let you know that we’ve been so moved by your story and we have been cheering you on every week. And it’s not just because we’re partial to the name,” the Duchess of Sussex said.
“So, a very special message to you — that I will probably be saying all of my life, but on this night it is specifically for you. Archie, we are proud of you, and we are rooting for you and we can’t wait to see what you do,” she exclaimed. “We’re in your corner.”
The couple also privately reached out to “Britain’s Got Talent” contestant Ashley Banjo, who leads the dance group Diversity, after the contestants faced thousands of complaints for a performance that referenced George Floyd, the Black man killed by a Minneapolis cop in May, and police brutality.
“We spoke to Ashley Banjo a few weeks ago, straight after the ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ situation,” Harry said during a talk with the Evening Standard in October about dismantling structural racism in the UK.
“And that in itself, I am sure even me talking about it will be controversial, but the reality of it is he and his team of guys put on the most amazing display,” he said.