updated 06/26/2014 AT 12:15 PM ET
•originally published 06/26/2014 AT 8:35 AM ET
Harry, 29, whose own mother, Princess Diana, died in a Paris car crash in 1997, when he was 12, was introduced to two young girls who are being raised by their grandmother because their mother had been murdered and their father is in jail.
After meeting them in a deprived area of São Paulo, Harry told reporters that he was moved by the experience and felt the urge to share his own experience from when he was young.
But he decided to hold back.
“There are two little girls – I’m quite emotional – just looking at them I wanted to talk about my own experiences. But there is no point because it is just so far removed,” he said.
“The bravery of them looking at me, smiling at me I wanted to use my own experiences in a very small way to try to give them a bit of understanding about the fact [that] I see what you’re going through.
“But you hear the stories and think, ‘That’s nothing [compared] to what they have been through.’ ”
He added, “I was completely overwhelmed and shocked. I’ve never blubbed in public as far as I can remember, but I was pretty damn close. It was amazing to hear those stories.”
Harry was visiting ACER – the Association for Support of Children at Risk – a project run by a British citizen to help underprivileged children in Diadema, near São Paulo.