Prince Harry wrote a heartfelt letter of condolence to the parents of 5-year-old Carson Hartley, a terminally ill young boy who passed away at the beginning of June. The royal had met Carson at an awards ceremony last year. Addressing the letter to Carson's grieving parents Kirsty and Damian, Harry expressed his sorrow, offered his deepest condolences and recalled the the 5-year-old's "tremendous spirit."
"I was so very sad to hear the tragic news," wrote the Prince. "Carson made such an impression on me at the WellChild awards last year with his warm smile and hugs."
Prince Harry met Carson Hartley at the WellChild awardsin 2014 Photo: Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth's grandson added: "He showed so much happiness with such a positive outlook despite the challenges he faced. Carson was a wonderful young boy and I am delighted to have had the chance to meet him. I wanted to let you know how sorry I am to hear of your loss and pass to you my heartfelt condolences."
Harry attended the WellChild awards in London in September 2014 as royal patron of the children's charity. The organization helps seriously ill young people and their families by providing practical and emotional support.
The royal said that Carson made an impression on him with his "warm smile and hugs" Photo: Getty Images
At the event, Harry presented Carson with an Inspirational Child award and the pair were pictured sweetly hugging and high-fiving each other.
The late youngster was born 13 weeks premature and suffered from lung disease, heart defect, brittle bone disease and Spina bifida, a condition where the spine does not develop properly.
He was a patient at Alder Hey for most of his life, and his parents moved to Stockbridge Village to be closer to the children's hospital. Carson took his first steps at the age of 2, despite doctors claiming that he may never be able to walk.
Carson's mom Kirsty said her heart "burst with pride" when she received Prince Harry's letter Photo: Getty Images
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, doting mom Kirsty recalled the moment she received the letter from Prince Harry. "My heart burst with pride, I cried, it was so bittersweet but just reflects exactly what we thought of Harry when we met him," she said. "He is so nice, genuine and really took an interest. I couldn't believe he remembered Carson but like we always said, once met never forgotten."