Prince Harry paid a personal tribute to murdered aid worker Alan Henning whilst carrying out engagements in Greater Manchester on Monday 20th October.
The Royal was carrying out an engagement at Eccles Rugby Club and Salford Fire Station and it was between these two visits that Harry left his floral tribute at the makeshift shrine to Alan Henning at Eccles Cross. The floral tribute was very informal with neither a card nor message left by the Prince.
Mr Henning was an aid worker, who worked as a taxi driver in Eccles, he was in the Syrian city of Al-Dana where he was captured and later beheaded by Islamic State fundamentalist fighters. Mr Henning was in the city providing humanitarian relief.
The touching tribute that Prince Harry left was in definite contrast to his previous official engagement in Eccles. Harry was at Eccles RFC to take part in a teacher training session in his role as Patron of England Rugby’s All Schools Programme. Sarah Hunter, vice captain of the England women’s rugby team who won the Women’s rugby union world cup in August, spoke of Harry’s visit to Eccles, “When I go back and tell my England teammates that I played alongside Prince Harry, I think they will be jealous.”
On his visit to Salford fire station, Prince Harry was on hand to witness a first aid class, as well as being shown around the fire station by Assistant Chief Fire Officer Paul Argyle. Harry also met with fire-fighters who helped deal with the riots in the area back in August 2011. Mr Argyle commented, “Prince Harry asked about what the biggest issues were for the fire station and seemed very interested in the fitness levels of the fire-fighters. Everyone was very excited to see him.”
On the subject of Harry’s tribute to Alan Henning, one can assume that the Eccles locals will take some comfort in the fact that a member of The Royal Family has taken time out to personally pay tribute to one of their own.
Harry’s visit to Manchester also saw him pay a private visit to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital where he visited sick children and met their families who are helped by one of his charities, WellChild.