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The Duke of Sussex Prince Harry To Be Honored At 2024 ESPYs

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Prince Harry is set to receive the esteemed Pat Tillman Award at the 2024 ESPYs for his service in the British armed forces and his Invictus Games Foundation.

The award, presented by ESPN, is a legacy project in honor of former NFL player and U.S. Army Ranger Pat Tillman. It honors individuals who demonstrate extraordinary courage and dedication to serving others.

The honor comes amid Prince Harry opening up about his experience of losing a loved one and the emotional toll it took on him.

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Prince Harry To Be Honored With The Pat Tillman Award

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Harry’s efforts to empower wounded veterans and use sports as a tool for recovery have resulted in him being honored at this year’s ESPYs.

A press statement from the network shared that the Duke of Sussex will receive the 2024 Pat Tillman Award for his “tireless work in making a positive impact for the veteran community through the power of sport” on July 11, when the ESPYs air on ABC.

The Tillman Award is usually “given to a person with a strong connection to sports who has served others in a way that echoes the legacy of the former NFL player and U.S. Army Ranger, Pat Tillman.”

Harry’s Invictus Games Foundation played a major part in his recent honor due to its amazing impact on the lives of war veterans worldwide.

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ESPN Praises Prince Harry’s Invictus Games For ‘Transcending Borders’

Prince Harry & Meghan Markle smiling and clapping
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ESPN praised the father-of-two for his Invictus Games foundation, noting that the platform has “transcended borders and impacted lives across every continent” since its inception in 2014.

The honor has been given to several people other than sports stars in the past, including Jake Wood in 2018 and Gretchen Evans in 2022. Famous athletes who’ve won it include English footballer Marcus Rashford in 2021 and boxer Kim Clavel in 2020.

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“It’s our privilege to recognize three incredible individuals – Steve Gleason, Dawn Staley, and Prince Harry,” said Kate Jackson, VP of Production, ESPN. “These honorees have used their platforms to change the world and make it more inclusive for marginalized and suffering communities, demonstrating incredible resilience, positivity, and perseverance, and we’re thrilled to celebrate them at The 2024 ESPYS.”

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Prince Harry Recently Shared His Experience Dealing With Grief

Prince Harry
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The ESPN honor comes after Harry opened up in an emotional conversation with war widow Nikki Scott about his experience dealing with grief and the loss of a loved one.

Scott is the founder of Scotty’s Little Soldiers – a charity organization that deals with bereaved military children, of which Harry is a global ambassador – and in their conversation, she detailed how difficult it was for her to share the news of her husband’s death to their 5-year-old son.

The Duke lost his mother, Princess Diana, when he was only 12 years old. Diana died at the age of 36 as a result of a car crash in August 1997 while fleeing photographers in Paris. He noted that such an experience “becomes easier” if children are allowed to talk about it.

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“You convince yourself that the person you’ve lost wants you, or you need to be sad for as long as possible to prove to them that they are missed,” Harry noted. “But then there’s this realization of, ‘no, they must want me to be happy.'”

Prince Harry Says Suppressing Grief Is Dangerous

Prince Harry & Meghan Markle
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The war widow, Scott, narrated her ordeal to the Duke of having to break the sad news to her son, which she later did in July 2009 while caring for her 7-month-old daughter.

“It was the worst,” she told Harry. “How do you tell a five-year-old this? I took him up and sat him on the bed, and I said, ‘Kai, do you remember where Daddy was?’ and he said, ‘Yeah, Afghan’, and I said, ‘Something really bad has happened, and the baddies (because he used to play Army) have hurt dad, and he’s died.'”

Harry then replied to her, admitting that although it’s hard, children should be allowed to talk about their emotions freely.

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“That’s the hardest thing, especially for kids, I think, which is, ‘I don’t want to talk about it because it will make me sad,’ but once realizing if I do talk about it, and I’m celebrating their life, then actually, things become easier as opposed to this, ‘I am just not going to talk about it, and that’s the best form of coping,’ when in fact it’s not,'” he said.

Harry added, “It can be for a period of time. If you suppress this for too long, you cannot suppress it forever, it is not sustainable and it will eat away at you inside.”

The Duke May Have Not Totally Healed From The Loss Of His Mother

Princess Diana, Prince Harry
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According to the Daily Mail, body language expert Judi James has reacted to Harry’s demeanor in his conversation with Scott, sharing that the Duke showed signs of “grief” and “vulnerability” while speaking.

James told the news outlet that the interview “triggered” Harry’s “emotions of historic grief” as he listened “to the story of a parent’s death.”

“We can see five signs of Harry’s emotions of historic grief being triggered as he listens to the story of a parent’s death,” she said. “He begins by adopting a professional pose related to power and authority, which can be a self-protective gesture, as though adopting the look of a counselor might buffer him emotionally.”

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“He sits back in the chair with his arms and legs splayed rather than leaning forward to get ‘in touch’ with the grief,” She continued, adding that the father-of-two became “triggered” by the interview.

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