Prince Harry has shared a surprise video this evening, to mark what would have been the opening ceremony of the Invictus Games 2020. The Games were originally scheduled to take place this week in The Hague, the Netherlands, but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. But the Duke gave a message of support and revealed that virtual events will instead be taking place.
In the video message, filmed from his new LA home, Harry acknowledges that times are hard for many people at the moment.
He said: “Hello everybody. As we commemorate VE Day this weekend and pay tribute to the service and sacrifice of the entire Second World War generation, we should also have been gathering together in the Netherlands to kick start The Invictus Games 2020 in The Hague.
“Life has changed dramatically for all of us since I was last in The Hague, but the IG2020 team has done an incredible job to adapt so quickly to the situation and they are busy putting plans in place for next year. The new dates will be shared with you very soon.”
The Duke urged people to stay in touch during the pandemic, and announced that some virtual events will be taking place instead of the Games.
He said: “Although we can’t be together in person, I’m really happy that there are plenty of virtual activities planned for this week and I encourage you all to get involved, if you can, because you never know, it might be fun and a change from the norm.”
Harry added: “Throughout this week we will be seeing and hearing from many Invictus competitors; their experience and resilience in dealing with mental health challenges is something we could all learn lessons from.
“The same could obviously be said for our incredible health care professionals working so hard to keep us all safe.
“Alongside all the virtual activity from the team in The Hague, I’m delighted that The Invictus Games Foundation will be hosting a virtual conference with international speakers and participants sharing their thoughts and experience of resilience and why the Invictus spirit is so important.
“I’m incredibly grateful for your continued support. Stay safe, and this week stay tuned as we bring The Hague home to you.”
More to follow…