05/10/2015 19:27 BST | Updated 05/10/2016 06:12 BST

Harry Clowns Around At WellChild Awards

Prince Harry might be a senior member of the Royal Family but to one little girl being recognised at a national awards ceremony he was a clown sculpting balloons.

Nine-year-old Nellie-Mai Evans did not stand on ceremony when she met Harry at the WellChild awards and was soon playing balloon tennis with the former Army captain.

She hit the black and white animal-shaped toy on to his head and around his face as he chatted to her adoptive father Jeff Evans, 53.

Mr Evans said: "She thought he was a clown and said, 'could you make a balloon (animal)?'. He replied, 'I would try, but I don't think I could'."

Harry is the patron of WellChild, a leading charity dedicated to the needs of sick children and their families, which holds an annual awards ceremony to recognise youngsters battling serious illness and medical professionals.

The organisation is best known for its nurses who provide specialist medical care and direct support in the home for chronically ill youngsters.

Nellie-Mai won the Inspirational Young Person Award in the seven-to-10 age group. After having a heart transplant at just 11 months old, she has battled cancer three times and suffers severe fits and behavioural problems after having a stroke in 2009.

Mr Evans said her meeting with the prince came to an abrupt end when she announced: "It's very nice to meet you but I need to go to the toilet."

Harry was unperturbed and arranged to catch up with the family later before the awards ceremony began at the London Hilton on Park Lane.

Mr Evans, a retired detective from Warcop, Cumbria - who was joined at the event by his wife Sarah, 42, and 16-year-old daughter Eloise - said: "To be here meeting Prince Harry and having a do in my daughter's honour, and everybody else of course, that's fantastic."