Prince Harry made a surprise appearance at the annual NFL Honors event Thursday following a brief trip to London to visit his cancer-stricken father, King Charles III.
The Duke of Sussex presented Cameron Heyward with the 2023 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award — the highest honor of the night — during the ceremony in Las Vegas.
“All you guys do on and off the field is truly remarkable. You are role models for millions in the way you carry yourselves and in the way you give back,” the royal, 39, said onstage.
Harry then called Heyward “a player who goes above and beyond” and noted that his “extraordinary commitment to helping others is a reflection of his own story.”
The Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle, 34, was specifically honored for his work with The Heyward House, which he founded in 2015 to help kids from various backgrounds in need of extra support — whether that be new clothes for school or a heartwarming birthday card.
As Harry noted, the NFL player’s foundation was created with his past experiences in mind.
Heyward, who lost his father as a teen, suffered from severe asthma as a child and didn’t believe he would ever play a sport.
“When I talk about my dad, he wore No. 34. He’s been with me the entire time. He’s been with me every step of the way. But I know there was another No. 34 that was helping me. This man Walter Payton,” he said in his acceptance speech.
“There’s no act too small, there’s no act too big,” he added. “We’re all trying to make a difference in so many people’s lives.”
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“I know, for Charles, the door has always been left open regardless of some of the things Harry has written,” Nicholl said, referring to Harry’s 2023 memoir “Spare,” in which he wrote about his family’s private matters.
“I was told by a source very close to the king that whatever Harry has said or done, he loves his son.”
It’s unclear how the trip went as Harry jetted from the UK Wednesday after spending about 24 hours in his home country.
His wife, Meghan Markle, did not join him for the brief visit, but she was seen flashing a smile as she drove her Range Rover near the couple’s $14 million Montecito, Calif., mansion Wednesday afternoon.