Prince Harry received a rapturous response as he took to the stage of a vaccine fundraising concert in the US – but without his pregnant wife Meghan.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex had both been set to join famous names from the worlds of music, film and politics at the Vax Live event in California.
But while Harry made his first public appearance since the funeral of his grandfather Prince Philip to address the crowd, his partner did not join him in person.
He was given a standing ovation by the crowd, before giving a speech praising the selfless efforts of front line workers during the pandemic.
“‘Tonight is a celebration of each of you here, the vaccinated frontline workers in the audience and the millions of frontline heroes around the world,” he told the audience.
‘You spent the last year battling courageously and selflessly to protect us all.
“You served and sacrificed, put yourselves in harm’s way, and acted with bravery, knowing the costs. We owe you an incredible debt of gratitude. Thank you.’
The couple serve as campaign chairs for the event, encouraging donations to Covax, an organisation working to provide vaccines for low and middle-income countries.
Other celebrity guests include Ben Affleck, Chrissy Teigen and talk show host Jimmy Kimmel.
US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden also made an appearance at the event, with a video message.
Harry and Meghan said in a joint statement before the event: “Over the past year, our world has experienced pain, loss, and struggle – together. Now we need to recover and heal – together.
“We can’t leave anybody behind. We will all benefit, we will all be safer, when everyone, everywhere has equal access to the vaccine.
“We must pursue equitable vaccine distribution, and, in that, restore faith in our common humanity. This mission couldn’t be more critical or important.”
Harry recently returned to the UK to attend the funeral of his grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh.
Meghan remained in the United States, having been advised not to fly while pregnant with their second child.