It takes a very brave soul to steal from a royal prince. In times of old, a person who dared to do such a thing could expect prison at best – or their head chopped off at worst. Thankfully, although royals are still widely held in high esteem, times have changed. But when this little girl started casually taking popcorn from Prince Harry, cameras quickly swung in their direction to see what would happen next.
The adorable incident happened at the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto, Canada. Harry has a special connection to this event – because he’s the one who created it, no less! After being inspired by America’s Warrior Games, a competition for disabled armed services personnel, Harry decided to create a similar set of games for the U.K.
“How can [injured soldiers] be recognised for their achievements and not given sympathy? Prince Harry asked these questions,” the Invictus Games Foundation website states. “The word ‘Invictus’ means ‘unconquered.’ It embodies the fighting spirit of the wounded, injured and sick service personnel and what these tenacious men and women can achieve, post injury.”
So it was no surprise that Harry attended the U.K. versus Denmark volleyball match during the latest games. It’s no surprise either that he sat in the stands with the regular folk. That’s because, like his late mother, Princess Diana, Harry appears to be a modern and down-to-earth kind of royal. So he sat next to a little blonde girl and her mother.
But the little girl didn’t seem to care one bit about who she was sitting next to. You see, she was only interested in the popcorn that the prince had brought with him. As Harry concentrated on the volleyball game, then, the toddler reached out a hand and stole some of his snacks. And then she did so again… and again after that.
She helped herself to his popcorn for almost a whole minute, in fact. Harry was deep in conversation with the person on his other side and didn’t seem to notice. But eventually the little girl’s mother did. For a second her face looked a bit concerned, as if she were trying to work out if it was still technically treason to steal something from a member of the royal family.
Don’t forget, Britain has a long history of its royals dishing out terrible punishments for what could be considered incredibly minor crimes! But fortunately, the idea of the vengeful king or prince has long been left behind. Today’s royals, in fact, have absolutely no ability to enforce laws. The role of the Queen and her family is mostly ceremonial, and they serve more as ambassadors than true heads of state.
And, like their predecessors, the current crop of royals are generally very professional people. The younger ones in particular have a reputation for being kind and personable. If anything ever angered them, then, it’s highly unlikely that they would show it or even talk about it afterwards. So really, the troublesome toddler’s mother likely had nothing to worry about.
And as soon as Harry noticed the pint-sized thief, he was actually the exact opposite of cross. In fact, the prince immediately started playing with her, pulling funny faces and cooing over her toy. He was a natural at entertaining the youngster, and of course he offered her the rest of his popcorn. What’s more, the cameras caught every adorable moment.
The little girl is actually known to Harry, though. Her name is Emily Henson, and she’s the daughter of Invictus Games participant David Henson. Harry and David, who lost both of his legs after stepping on an IED while serving in Afghanistan, became good friends in the run up to the first Invictus Games in 2014.
With that in mind, Emily’s mother, Hayley Henson, smiled in delight as the prince played with her two-year-old daughter. And the people filming the event were no doubt delighted too. The moment was not only cute, but it was also a perfect snapshot of a young man who was, many people hoped, fast approaching fatherhood himself.
You see, Harry’s brother, Prince William, currently has two kids with Kate Middleton. These are Prince George and Princess Charlotte, still both very young children, who are third and fourth in line to the throne of Great Britain. And on September 4, 2017, the royal family announced that Kate and William were expecting a third child.
Harry, though, isn’t married yet and doesn’t have any children. But at every turn he’s proven himself to be very good indeed with youngsters. In fact, he’s actually godfather to six children and has spoken about how he interacts with them. In April 2017 he told The Daily Telegraph’s Mad World podcast that the key is “to stay in touch with your childhood side.”
And of course, Harry appears to be a wonderful uncle to George and Charlotte. Naturally, their births knocked him further down the line of succession to the throne, but he doesn’t seem to care one bit about that. (Days of scheming royal uncles are also long gone.) “The reason I am now fifth is because of my nephew and niece, and I could never wish them away,” he told the Daily Mail in June 2017. “They are the most amazing things ever.”
However, it’s seeming more and more likely that Harry will have children of his own sooner rather than later. Over the years, he’s mentioned in multiple interviews that he would love them one day, and perhaps that day is coming. Especially as the prince is currently in a serious relationship with American actress Meghan Markle, and some people say wedding bells are ringing.
In fact, ever since it became clear how close the relationship is, media outlets have speculated that a new royal engagement might soon be on the cards. And in October 2017 the newspapers reported that Meghan had met the Queen – a huge step for any potential royal bride. Harry’s father, Prince Charles, has apparently also met her and allegedly described her as “a very nice girl.”
Some gossip magazines and websites are even keeping an eye out for any sign that Harry might be preparing an engagement ring. Rumors abound that it could be an emerald one, as these are said to be Meghan’s favorite jewel. Many people have also speculated that Harry would have one made from a bracelet that belonged to his mother, Diana.
However, Harry is keeping very quiet about when the engagement will happen – if, indeed, it happens at all. And even if the pair do marry, there’s no cast-iron guarantee that Meghan will have children. But in the meantime, royalists who have been eagerly awaiting the prospect of Harry as a dad have the popcorn-stealing video to amuse themselves with.
And the footage was a massive hit all over the internet for exactly that reason. People seem keen to know what Harry will be like as a father, and the video showed the clearest indication yet. It went viral to the extent that even major news publications reported on it. “This Little Girl Stealing Prince Harry’s Popcorn Is Everything,” Time announced on its website.
Even though Harry is not yet a father, then, it’s still fascinating to know what the prince is like around little kids. He’s showing pitch-perfect parenting skills: entertain the child, play with the child… and definitely forgive the child when they steal your popcorn. All abilities which hopefully will stand the prince in good stead later in life.