Prince Harry Showed Up at the NFL Honors Gala in Vegas Just Hours After Visit to King Charles

It's been a busy week for the Duke of Sussex.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex presents the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award at the 13th Annual NFL Honors on February 8, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Prince Harry just popped up in a pretty unexpected place. The Duke of Sussex was at the NFL Honors gala in Las Vegas on Thursday, just hours after touching down in the U.S. following his flying visit to the U.K. to see King Charles.

There, Harry presented the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award to Cameron "Cam" Heyward of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex presents the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award to Cameron Heyward of the Pittsburgh Steelers at the 13th Annual NFL Honors on February 8, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada

Prince Harry presents the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award to Cameron Heyward of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

"What you guys do on and off the field is truly remarkable. You're role models for millions in the way you carry yourselves and the way you give back," the duke told the audience before presenting the award.

"This final award, the highest honor, is all about serving your community, and there's one special man we'd like to pay tribute to now. A player who goes above and beyond and whose extraordinary commitment to helping others is a reflection of his own story."

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex presents the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award to Cameron Heyward of the Pittsburgh Steelers at the 13th Annual NFL Honors on February 8, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada

Cam Heyward hugs Prince Harry after receiving the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award from him.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

As Heyward took to the stage, his immediate reaction was to freak out about who was presenting him with the award.

"Oh, man. Man! Prince freakin' Harry! Man, I'm in shock! That's Prince Harry!" he said, making the audience giggle.

Taking a more serious tone, he said, "First of all, I wanna say thank you to God. I wouldn't be here today... Ever since I've been a Pittsburgh Steeler, I've always thought God and my dad [the late NFL player Craig Heyward] had a plan for me—and I'm living it right now. I wanna say thank you to the Pittsburgh Steelers for giving me this opportunity."

He went on to thank his coach, Mike Tomlin, his teammates, the Steelers organization, his community, but most of all his family—at which point he got choked up from gratitude.

As well as playing as a defensive lineman for the Steelers, Heyward also heads up the Cameron Heyward Foundation, which works to fight childhood hunger and cancer, to promote childhood literacy, and to support students and teachers. This amazing work is a major part of why he was given the award on Thursday—and ties in with some of the charity work Harry does with the Archewell Foundation.

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Harry's surprise appearance at the NFL event came after he returned to the U.S. from a one-night stay in the U.K., where he met with his father, who sadly revealed his cancer diagnosis to the public earlier this week.

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Shape. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.