Prince Harry urged to marry Cheryl after former X Factor judge's split
Published 29/04/2016 | 00:11
Prince Harry has been urged to marry former X Factor judge Cheryl - and did not dismiss the idea out of hand - as he celebrated the achievements of Invictus Games athletes.
At a glittering awards ceremony held to recognise individuals from the sporting world, host Mark Durden-Smith said it was Harry's royal duty to pop the question to Cheryl Fernandez-Versini.
Among the guests at the BT Sport Industry Awards were Tim Henman, Lord Coe, Brian O'Driscoll, John Terry, Jamie Murray and his mother Judy Murray, and Jodie Kidd.
Cheryl, as the singer is now known, recently split from her second husband and Durden-Smith described the Prince and former tennis star Henman - who were jointly presenting an outstanding contribution award to the Murray family - as both prime son-in-law material.
To laughter from the 1,700 guests attending the event at the Battersea Evolution in central London, Durden-Smith said: "I know you take your royal duties very seriously Harry and I think one of the duties that the nation would like you to perform is to marry Cheryl Fernandez-Versini
"It's what the nation wants Harry so give it some thought."
His comments caused the Prince to raise an eyebrow as he mused on the suggestion.
There was more comic banter when tennis coach Judy Murray and her son Jamie - the world number one doubles player - stepped forward to receive their award.
The coach brought the house down when her son was asked to put into words what his mother had done for him and she quipped "I popped him out".
Andy Murray could not make the evening as he is preparing for the French Open the audience was told, and when asked for his view on the family, Harry replied: "It's an absolutely amazing achievement."
Judy Murray, 56, said: "It's amazing, I think we were back in Dunblane a couple of days ago and Jamie brought the Davis Cup trophy back. It's when you go back to the club that I realise what they have achieved.
"They were just two little boys from a little Scottish town that has no record for tennis.
"As well as being great athletes, they are great kids, they are great people and that's what makes me most proud."
Her son said: "She created so many opportunities for us, not just us, but other kids across Britain. She wanted to give us the opportunities she never had as a young tennis player in Scotland a long time ago."
"Not that long ago", snapped Judy.
The audience also watched a recorded message from Andy Murray, who said: "I'm very proud of everything that my brother has achieved in his career to date and everything that mum does for British tennis on a daily basis."
The guests also included some of the UK's Invictus Games competitors who will be flying with the rest of the squad to Orlando to take part in the sporting spectacle next month.
The Invictus Games Foundation, which has Harry as patron, and the Sport Industry Group have recently joined forces to help create career opportunities in the sporting industry for wounded soldiers.
Former serviceman Stuart Robinson, who had his legs amputated after an IED went off under his vehicle, competed in the 2014 Games and joined Harry and other Invictus athletes on stage.
Speaking about what the sporting spectacle has meant to him, he told the guests: "The chance not to allow our injuries to define who we are. It not only enhanced but improved our lives, inside and out of sport."
Harry said: "Everybody here knows the power of sport and what it can achieve for anyone, especially those with physical or mental injuries.
"What we've done for these guys is provide a platform for rehabilitation, whether that's physical or mental."