December 23, 2019 1:50 PM EST

Prince Harry donned a white beard and red suit to surprise the children of fallen British Armed Forces personnel.

At this year’s Scotty’s Little Soldiers Christmas party, held for 4 to 18-year-olds, Prince Harry delivered a video message encouraging children to find support with each other and reminding them that their parents will never be forgotten.

“Ho! Ho! Ho! Hi guys,” he says in the video message. “Losing a parent is incredibly hard, but I know that every single one of you, by helping each other out, that you will have an amazing future ahead of you. And you’ll be having a fantastic Christmas as well.”

Scotty’s Little Soldiers provides year-round support for children who have lost a parent in the British Armed Forces. This year, children and their surviving parents arrived in London for a full day of Christmas celebrations. It included a day-long mock activity to recover the queen’s missing jewels, according to a public statement from the charity. Prince Harry’s message came along with activities designed by childcare professionals to encourage wellbeing, confidence, communication and teamwork, the charity says.

“It can be a difficult time of year for these kids, so receiving a heartfelt message from Prince Harry really meant the world to them,” said Scotty’s Little Soldiers founder Nikki Scott in a public statement. “The message was a surprise and the look on their faces was priceless.”

The party took place on a boat on the River Thames earlier this month, but the charity decided to share the video with the public on Monday. About 190 children were at the party, according to Prince Harry’s video.

“I also want to encourage you guys to look around and realize that you are a part of a family,” he told the children. “Part of an amazing community, and that there is support there for you every single day should you need it.”

“Your parents, they will never be forgotten, and you will never be forgotten,” he adds. “And I really, really hope, and I know, that you will leave today with a huge smile on your face. And for the younger ones of you, probably covered in food as well.”

Write to Jasmine Aguilera at jasmine.aguilera@time.com.

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