Prince Harry surprises JJ Chalmers on Strictly in first UK public appearance since Megxit

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Prince Harry made a surprise apperance on this weekend's Strictly Come Dancing.

Making show history, the royal had a sweet message of support for his good friend JJ Chalmers.

It was Harry's first UK public appearance since he and his wife Meghan Markle stepped down as senior members of the royal family earlier this year.

JJ, who is partnered up with Strictly pro Amy Dowden, performed his first jive of the show, set to Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy by Bette Midler.

And his spirits will no doubt bolstered by an unexpected appearance from his favourite red-headed royal.

(Image: BBC)

Prince Harry and his pal JJ Chalmers
(Image: Chris Jackson Collection)

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Harry told him: "When I first met JJ he was a shell of himself but then to see you shine through Invictus and to be yourself again, that was the start of an amazing journey.

"You're definitely having an impact on society now especially when you're wearing those tight blue shorts and the socks pulled up.

"It doesn't get better than that!"

Harry added: "I'm genuinely proud. You're not a dancer, proving that you can actually do whatever you put your mind to which is amazing."

(Image: BBC)

The close pals met after JJ's devastating injuries from an explosion when he was serving in Afghanistan, and quickly bonded over their shared experience of serving for the Armed Forces.

Harry helped support JJ after his recovery, and the paralympic athlete paid him back in kind by competing in the first ever Invictus Games, picking up a gold medal in cycling.

JJ and his wife Kornelia were even invited to all three parts of Prince Harry ’s wedding day to Meghan Markle, despite only meeting four years before the big day.

(Image: BBC)

Their friendship blossomed further, with JJ throwing his support behind Meghan while she was being tormented by trolls.

"She's remarkable. He can share the burden with somebody, the good and the bad," JJ said of the Duchess of Sussex.

And it seems Harry is a secret fan of Strictly, and has been watching JJ each week climbing up the leaderboard.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attend the annual Endeavour Fund Awards in March
(Image: Tim Rooke/Shutterstock)

"I thought he'd find it hilarious, but he thought I was good," JJ said of Harry's support for his dancing stint.

"He thought, 'By heck, he can dance'."

JJ also praised Harry for his secret support, adding: "He's a veteran. He's a guy who's seen it, he's done it. and he understands it in ways lots of people don't.

Harry is friends with Strictly star JJ
(Image: Chris Jackson Collection/Getty)

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"He's shaped me, he's helped me, he's looked after me, because that's what veterans do."

Saturday's Strictly looked very different after a week from hell.

Nicola Adams was forced to withdraw from the competition after her dance partner Katya Jones tested positive for coronavirs, despite having no symptoms.

For use in UK, Ireland or Benelux countries only BBC handout photo of Amy Dowden and JJ Chalmers during the live show for Saturday's programme in the BBC1 dancing contest, Strictly Come Dancing. PA Photo. Issue date: Saturday October 31, 2020. See PA story SHOWBIZ Strictly. Photo credit should read: Guy Levy/BBC/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: Not for use more than 21 days after issue. You may use this picture without charge only for the purpose of publicising or reporting on current BBC programming, personnel or other BBC output or activity within 21 days of issue. Any use after that time MUST be cleared through BBC Picture Publicity. Please credit the image to the BBC and any named photographer or independent programme maker, as described in the caption.

Katya must self-isolate for 14 days, while Nicola must remain in quarantine for 10 days, meaning she will miss too much training to continue in the show.

Judge Motsi Mabuse also skipped episode after jetting out to Germany for an "urgent trip".

She must isolate on her return, so will be replaced tomorrow night by Strictly pro Anton du Beke.

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