The Duke of Sussex had something lighthearted to say about a flight with his father, King Charles
The Duke of Sussex, 39, joked that he was “terrified” during his first helicopter flight as a child when his dad hopped into the cockpit. Prince Harry stepped out solo for induction into the Living Legends of Aviation on Friday night in Beverly Hills, and the Daily Mail reported that the comment came when event host John Travolta asked him about his first flight experience.
“I think I was maybe 7 or 8 years old, Wessex Helicopter, and I jumped into it very excited. And then my father jumped in behind the controls, and I was terrified,” Prince Harry said in fan footage shared to X, as the audience laughed. The clip showed the Duke of Sussex speaking while standing up from his seat at the Beverly Hilton at the 21st annual awards, which Travolta hosted as the "Official Ambassador of Aviation.”
On Friday, the Duke of Sussex was one of four people inducted into the Living Legends of Aviation, which honors "those who have made significant contributions to aviation/aerospace."
Prince Harry served as a helicopter pilot during his decade in the British Army, flying training missions in the U.S., U.K. and Australia, as well as combat missions in Afghanistan. He was awarded his Flying Wings in 2010 following completion of the eight-month Army Pilot Course with the Army Aviation Centre, and his father King Charles awarded his flying wings. The King also awarded Prince William’s flying wings in 2008.
According to his royal biography, the King, 75, began jet pilot training at Royal Air Force (RAF) Cranwell in March 1971 and even flew himself there, having started flight lessons while studying at Cambridge. It’s custom for heirs to the throne to train with various branches of the military, and Queen Elizabeth’s eldest son began a naval career later that year after the passing out parade (graduation) at Cranwell. King Charles, who was then known as the Prince of Wales, qualified as a helicopter pilot in 1974 and joined the 845 Naval Air Squadron — a few years before he married Princess Diana.
The late Princess of Wales famously shared a dance with Travolta, 69, at the White House in 1985, which Prince Harry affectionately referenced while speaking on stage at the Living Legends of Aviation Awards after receiving his medal.
As seen in fan footage shared to X, the Grease actor awarded the honor to Prince Harry as the crowd cheered.
"This is nice," the Duke of Sussex began, as the audience laughed.
"Thank you, Captain John," he said, looking to his left towards where Travolta was seemingly standing out of shot.
"Don't go running away," Prince Harry teased, before adding, "I was 1 year old when you danced with my mom."
The Duke of Sussex then added some playful remarks, jokingly noting to the crowd that Travolta had told "everybody here" and would continue "dining out on that."
"But look at us now, it's great! So if we're not going to dance together, we'll fly together," he told the Saturday Night Fever star.
Prince Harry then addressed the crowd and offered "a heartfelt thank you to the Living Legends of Aviation."
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The Living Legends of Aviation Awards are organized by the Kiddie Hawk Air Academy, which is a nonprofit that works to spark children’s interest in aviation through education, and honor “those who have made significant contributions to aviation/aerospace.”
Lauren Sánchez received the "Elling Halvorson Vertical Flight Hall of Fame Award,” and others inducted alongside Prince Harry included Steve Hinton, an American aviator who held a world speed record from 1979 to 1989, Navy pilot Fred George and President and CEO of CAE (formerly Canadian Aviation Electronics) Marc Parent. Sánchez shared a photo with Prince Harry, Travolta and her fiance Jeff Bezos from the event on Instagram, where she thanked Living Legends of Aviation for the “incredible recognition.”
Meghan Markle did not attend her husband Harry's induction into the Living Legends of Aviation after one of their children became ill, PEOPLE understands. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex share son Prince Archie, 4, and daughter Princess Lilibet, 2.
Last Wednesday, Buckingham Palace announced that King Charles would head to the hospital this week to treat an enlarged prostate. It's understood that the King, 75, wanted to share his diagnosis to encourage men who may be experiencing symptoms to get checked. King Charles will be capable of fulfilling his constitutional requirements and duties during this time, a royal source tells PEOPLE.
The same day, Kensington Palace announced that Kate Middleton had “planned abdominal surgery” at The London Clinic the day prior. Palace sources tell PEOPLE that the Princess of Wales, 42, is “doing well.” The issue is understood to be non-cancerous, and Prince William was seen leaving the London Clinic last Thursday during what the palace said would be a 10 to 14-day stay before going home to continue her recovery.
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