Last week, Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle was headed to Austrialia and were greeted by many school children upon their arrival at the airport. The children were warned by Ann Van Dartel, the school’s principal, of the strict rules that you cannot touch the Prince and Duchess, for it is against protocol. Vincent, a 5-year-old boy with Down Syndrome, innocently did not heed the warning:
“As Prince Harry approached the boy, he kneeled down to greet him. Vincent immediately threw his arms around Prince Harry, too quick for Dartel to stop him. Vincent then reached out and rubbed Prince Harry’s beard — a welcomed gesture by the Prince, who playfully reached out to the boy and rubbed his chin.
Van Dartel said she was concerned when Vincent started rubbing Prince Harry’s face and hair, “But Prince Harry was completely gracious and was so polite and realized what was happening and his infatuation with his beard.”
Prince Harry’s interaction with Vincent is a beautiful example of how the inclusion of a special needs child. Many parents of a child with special needs know the trials and tribulations a child faces with social situations, wanting to be included and really just being treated like everyone else. Prince Harry may have added a spark to a greater conversation. A simple gesture as accepting a hug and humoring Vincent while he scratches Prince Harry’s beard shows millions of people that there is nothing to be afraid of with people with special needs.
We should all strive to show as much warmth and compassion as Prince Harry did with Vincent in our everyday lives and further spread the message of including people of all kinds.
The wonderful scene between young Vincent, Prince Harry, and Meghan Markle was caught on film, which you can see here.