Prince Harry Pat Tillman
Source YouTube: 60 Minutes, Mikerophone

Prince Harry has reportedly been left “stunned” by the backlash that has come in over him receiving the Pat Tillman ESPY Award for Service.

Harry Hit With Backlash

Harry, 39, will be honored with the Pat Tillman Award for Service for his Invictus Games work at the ESPY Awards in Los Angeles on July 11.

Unfortunately for him, however, major backlash has come in ever since it was announced that he would be receiving this award. Even Tillman’s own mother Mary has spoken out against this, saying that she was never consulted about Harry getting the award. She later said that someone with less “privilege” would be a better choice for an award named after her son.

“I am shocked as to why they would select such a controversial and divisive individual to receive the award,” she said. “There are recipients that are far more fitting. There are individuals working in the veteran community that are doing tremendous things to assist veterans.”

“These individuals do not have the money, resources, connections or privilege that Prince Harry has,” she added. “I feel that those types of individuals should be recognized.”

Tillman was a safety for the Arizona Cardinals who gave up a multi-million dollar contract to serve in the U.S. military after 9/11. He was later killed by friendly fire in 2004 at the age of 27. After his death, Tillman was posthumously awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart for his service.

Related: ESPN Responds To Pat Tillman’s Mom After She Criticizes Them For Honoring Prince Harry With Son’s Award

‘Bitter Pill To Swallow’ For Harry

The backlash that has come in over Harry receiving the award named after Tillman has reportedly come as a major shock to the royal. Indeed, one insider said that the backlash has been a “bitter pill to swallow” for Harry.

“Harry’s legacy on Invictus, the things he has achieved, that’s his real passion,” the source told The Telegraph.

While Harry isn’t a stranger to scrutiny, he allegedly finds discourse regarding his military background to be upsetting. Harry previously served in the British Armed Forces for 10 years. This included two tours of duty in Afghanistan as an Apache helicopter pilot and a forward air controller.

“This is the space in which he truly feels at home, it is something he deeply cares about,” the insider added. “The reaction certainly took the shine off the award.”

Related: Prince Harry Asked To Step Down From Invictus Games, Vets Complain It’s ‘Too Royal’ Since Meghan Got Involved

Royal Experts Weigh In

Veteran royal expert Phil Dampier, however, believes that Harry should not be surprised by the backlash.

“It’s ironic that the thing which really kept Prince Harry’s feet on the ground and in touch with reality was his military service,” he said. “The fact he is stunned by that shows how remote and out of touch he has become.”

Meanwhile, royal expert Tom Bower agreed. He explained that the backlash shows that there is a growing “antagonism” to Harry in the U.S.

“The backlash will make it more difficult for Harry’s team to get awards in the future,” he said. “Prince Harry inhabits a gilded bubble seemingly unaware about the deep antagonism he and his wife have created. It’s become normal for his staff to lobby for important awards to shore up his reputation.”

Only time will tell how this goes over when Harry finally receives this award later in the week.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: