Prince Harry backs new book to support bereaved children of key workers in the coronavirus pandemic

Prince Harry is lending his support to a new, free book aimed at the bereaved children of key workers during the pandemic in the U.K., in which he writes of his own experience of loss in a foreword to the book.

“Hospital on the Hill,” authored by Chris Connaughton and illustrated by Fay Troote, tells the story of a young child of a front-line health worker coming to terms with the death of his mother.

In the foreword to the book, Prince Harry details his own experience of loss.

“If you are reading this book, it’s because you’ve lost your parent or a loved one, and while I wish I was able to hug you right now, I hope this story is able to provide you comfort in knowing that you’re not alone,” he writes. “When I was a young boy I lost my mum. At the time I didn’t want to believe it or accept it, and it left a huge hole inside of me. I know how you feel, and I want to assure you that over time that hole will be filled with so much love and support.”

PHOTO: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex meets children as she attends the Commonwealth Day Service 2020 on March 09, 2020, in London.

He also writes that feelings of anger and sadness “will pass,” and “you will feel better and stronger once you are ready to talk about how it makes you feel.”

The book is due to be released in line with the U.K.’s National Day of Reflection for those lost during the pandemic. The project was started by the founder of the children’s bereavement support charity Simon Says, and will be free to any young person affected by COVID-19.

The idea was conceived last spring when reports began to emerge that key workers were disproportionately affected during the pandemic.

“I felt very privileged to be asked to write this book,” Connaughton said. “The project seemed to me to address several important emotional issues for young people dealing with the impact of losing a loved one to COVID-19, and I hope my story, along with Fay Troote’s beautiful illustrations, offers them some comfort. I wanted it to provide a connection, support and hope through the hard and horrible times of bereavement. It’s also a tremendous honour — and a service to young people — to have the Duke of Sussex support this project and share his open, heartfelt and honest words with kids across the country.”

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