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Harry and Meghan 'two really lovely normal people'

A mum has praised Prince Harry after he was overcome by emotion at an awards ceremony for children battling serious illness.

The top royal made headlines around the world last week when he struggled for words at the WellChild Awards in London.

Strood resident Oakley Orange high fives Prince Harrys. Pictures courtesy of WellChild Awards
Strood resident Oakley Orange high fives Prince Harrys. Pictures courtesy of WellChild Awards

Strood resident Lorraine Orange was accompanying her 13-year-old son Oakley to the event.

She said: "In the papers it was been taken completely out of context.

"They've been saying the reason he broke down is because he was a father.

"That's not strictly true, the reason he broke down is because he was looking at all the children there and was grateful his son would never have to go through something like that.

"It was really heart wrenching. Everyone in the room said it was heart wrenching.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with Oakley Orange and his mum Lorraine. Pictures courtesy of WellChild Awards
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with Oakley Orange and his mum Lorraine. Pictures courtesy of WellChild Awards

"It made me really warm to Harry, I liked him already, but this made me like him even more.

"He's not just a prince, he's a dad and a human being like the rest of us."

Oakley was given an Inspirational Child honour at the awards of which the Duke of Sussex is a patron.

The teen chatted with Harry and Meghan at the presentation at the Royal Lancaster Hotel.

The mum and son confessed to being nervous about meeting the royal couple.

Oakley Orange with other winners. Pictures courtesy of WellChild Awards
Oakley Orange with other winners. Pictures courtesy of WellChild Awards

But after a 10-minute face-to face conversation, the duke and Oakley gave each other a high five.

Mum-of-four Lorraine described the royals as “two really lovely normal people”.

She added: “Harry had done his homework and knew about how Oakley promote people donating blood and his visits to hospital to encourage other sick children.

The entire family, of Empire Close, dad Steven, Maisie, 18, Ellis, 17, and Tilly, 12, went to the ceremony and enjoyed a gala dinner where

they sat on the same table as Harry Potter actor James Phelps who plays Fred Weasley.

Oakley Orange and his mum Lorraine. Pictures courtesy of WellChild Awards
Oakley Orange and his mum Lorraine. Pictures courtesy of WellChild Awards

Lorraine added: “It was fantastic from start to finish.”

When Oakley was seven he suffered an horrific reaction to medication, losing 100% of his skin, hair and nails. He was diagnosed with Stevens Johnson Syndrome and suffered multiple organ failure spending months in hospital.

He had to learn to walk, talk and eat again The Meopham School pupil has fought hard to lead as normal a life as possible, but continues to have health problems and is often in pain.

Lorraine said: “I believe he deserves the recognition for the way he has remained strong after everything he’s been through and even taken time to

think of others and give them support and encouragement.

To keep up-to-date with all the latest developments with your local hospitals and other health stories, click here.

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