Prince Harry opens up about his first day as a dad – and missing Princess Diana after baby Archie’s birth

By Zach Harper

Becoming a parent for the first time is an incredible experience – and it also completely changes your life and everything you’ve known to date! Prince Harry opened up just that when speaking to two participants at a countdown event for the 2020 Invictus Games in The Hague, Netherlands on Thursday (May 9).

JJ Chalmers, a former Royal Marine who has known Harry since the inaugural Invictus Games in 2014, shared his own story of his first 24 hours with his daughter, who is now three, with Harry. According to People, JJ told the first-time dad his little girl “slept all the way home and for 10 minutes in the house and then she opened her eyes and never went back to sleep!” Harry told his friend he and Duchess Meghan hadn’t had that experience with newborn son Archie Harrison, calling it “amazing… but it’s hard work.”

Meghan and Harry introduced little Archie to the world on May 8. Photo: © Dominic Lipinski/AFP/Getty Images

“He said [Archie] slept for the first 24 hours like all babies do… and then he woke up,” JJ said, mentioning that he could clearly see how happy the Duke of Sussex was. “I see the guy with a buzzing smile on his face still. Like any father he lights up even more when he speaks about his son and how proud he is of his wife and what she’s doing right now in his absence.”

Unsurprisingly, a special skills service dog really took a liking to Harry on May 9! Photo: © Chris Jackson/Getty Images

The Invictus Games is Prince Harry’s other baby of sorts, since he founded for wounded or sick veterans and armed services personnel to compete in a sporting event. “It’s remarkable that he’s here,” JJ told People. “I did say this was his first baby. In some ways it shows you just how much it means to him, to drag himself away, because I know what it’s like being a young father – you don’t want to leave and if he had the choice he would be at home.”

MORE: New dad Prince Harry is all kinds of adorable at Invictus Games event in the Netherlands

Many royals fans were no doubt touched to see Prince Harry holding Archie yesterday and must have remembered when his mother, Princess Diana, came out of the hospital holding Harry after he was born in 1984. We can only imagine how proud Diana must be of both her sons. The late Princess of Wales would be a grandmother to four children now, including Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, Prince William’s three kids with Duchess Kate.

Left: Princess Diana holds Prince Harry after his birth in 1984, while standing next to Prince Charles. Right: Prince Harry holds Archie with Duchess Meghan. Photos: © Getty Images

Harry shared how much he misses his mother with Dennis van der Stroon , a former Dutch soldier who was at the event and whose wife is also pregnant, according to People. “He said missing a mother is like missing some kind of security, how you need that as a son and it falls away when you lose your mother,” Dennis told the publication. “He said he meets a lot of people in his work who have lost a mother, father, sister, brother or relatives and when he hears their story, as he heard my story, he said he doesn’t feel so alone.”

MORE: Doria Ragland and the Queen star in Archie Harrison’s Instagram debut

Doria Ragland, Duchess Meghan’s mother, has been in the UK with the couple, and is helping them adjust. Harry really values his connection with his mother-in-law, and also shared with Dennis just how incredible Archie’s birth has been to him so far. “Above all he said he was just amazed by the miracles of the world, and now his child has made a lot of people happy,” Dennis said.

MORE: Full royal baby coverage

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