People Magazine
April 03, 2019 2:15 pm

Prince Harry is definitely in daddy mode. The royal, who is expecting the arrival of his first child with Meghan Markle in the coming weeks, bonded with a 3-month-old baby during his solo visit to the YMCA South Ealing in west London on Wednesday, April 3rd. While stopping by a ballet class for 4 to 6 year olds, Harry had to say hello to little Naz and mom Maria Ahmad, who were also watching.

The soon-to-be father crouched down to chat with the mother-daughter duo—and it wasn’t long before the infant flashed a big smile at the royal. Harry reacted by making some silly faces, including sticking his tongue out. “Sleeping?” he asked Ahmad, who replied, “Sometimes.” After giving the baby a little tickle on the belly, Harry added, “I love that face.” He asked her how old the baby was and if she she sleeping well, before poking out his tongue and making her smile. “I think he has babies on his mind,” Ahmad said afterwards.


Prince Harry also surprised the tiny dancers by showing off his own ballet skills. When the royal asked 5-year-old Emanuel Lester what his favorite part of dance class was, he was told the “ballet challenge.” Teacher Jade Groves explained that it was when the children practiced their balance by standing on one leg with a plastic disc on their head. No sooner than when she asked the children, “Do you guys want to show him?” they all stood up. Harry tried it himself, stretching out his arms and standing on one leg. “You wobbled!” teased one dancer.

Talking to the children afterwards, he said, “Come in, I don’t bite!” He asked 5-year-old Arya Twydell how long she had been doing ballet. Her answer should have been “two years,” but he was left in hysterics after she shouted, “100 years!” He then told the group that they all deserved “gold stars”–“except you,” he teased one boy, 5-year-old Emanuel Lester, who was looking the other way. “Well done, you were fantastic,” he added.


During his visit, Harry learned about how the YMCA is supporting young people in the area and took part a roundtable discussion convened by The Royal Foundation’s “Heads Together” campaign—the mental health initiative spearheaded by the royals. They discussed the personal and social issues that are often the underlying cause for some of the mental wellbeing challenges that young people face.

Meghan and Harry are expecting their first child later this month. While the Duchess of Sussex has kept up a busy schedule throughout her pregnancy, she has no new public duties on her calendar as she prepares not only for their baby’s arrival, but for the couple’s move into their new cottage in Windsor. Meghan’s last public engagement was on March 19th when she and Harry made a surprise outing to New Zealand House in London to honor the victims of the recent terrorist attacks.