Host John Travolta presented Harry, 39, with the honor of being a “significant contributor to aviation/aerospace” at the ceremony on January 19. The Grease actor asked the Spare author to recall memories from his experience as a pilot.
“I think I was maybe 7 or 8 years old in a Wessex helicopter, and I jumped into it so excited,” Harry told the crowd, per Entertainment Tonight. “And then my father jumped in behind the controls and I was terrified.”
Harry’s wife, Meghan Markle, was not in attendance at the event, which also honored pilot Fred George, CAE CEO Marc Parent and aviator Steve Hinton. Later during the speech, Harry recalled a time when his mother, Princess Diana, danced with John, 69, at the White House in 1985.
“Thank you, Captain John,” Harry said in a clip from the event posted on social media. “Don’t go running away. I was 1 year old when you danced with my mom.”
He also joked that John was “dining out” on the story and that he told “everybody” at the ceremony of his interaction with the late Princess of Wales.
“But look at us now, it’s great! So if we’re not going to dance together, we’ll fly together,” Harry continued.
The appearance came after Harry set out to “start the new year off right and focus on making amends,” an insider told Closer in December 2023. The royal family has endured its fair share of drama and scrutiny over the past few years.
The rift between the royals was certainly heightened by the bombshells Harry revealed in his 2023 memoir, Spare, alleging a physical altercation with his brother, Prince William, and disapproval in how quickly his relationship was moving with Meghan, 42, ahead of their May 2018 wedding. The couple are now parents to kids Archie and Lilibet, whom they are raising in California after stepping back from royal duties in 2020.
Luckily for Harry, Charles is hoping to put the tension behind him too.
“Charles has clarity with age, and if he wants anything, it is for William and Harry to repair their relationship,” the source continued. “He’s telling William to be the first one to reach out and be the bigger person. It’s his mission to get the boys on good terms.”