Prince Harry admitted life has “changed dramatically for all” in a poignant video message today on what would have been the opening ceremony of The Invictus Games 2020.
The 35-year-old prince sent the special recording from his plush new home in Los Angeles to give fans and the Invictus community some encouragement in these unprecedented times.
The Games were originally scheduled to take place this week in The Hague in the Netherlands but, like so many events across the world, were postponed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
And in his clip, the royal says: “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.
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“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.
“I hope all of those in The Invictus family are coping well and supporting each other through this challenging time.
“I continue to hear amazing stories of families coming together over online platforms, but please, look out for those who have gone quiet or that are no longer visible on the chat sites.”
Harry and his wife Meghan Markle decided to quit royal life and leave the UK some months ago, in a year of many change. However, Harry used the video as a chance to remind fans he still appreciates their support.
In the clip, he adds: “You guys are the best at this so I have no doubt you are rallying around and supporting one another. 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.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s ‘Megxit’ deal
After weeks of discussions, the Queen and other senior royals have agreed the terms of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry quitting the Royal Family.
This is what has been agreed for ‘Megxit’:
The couple will officially step back from the roles as senior royals on March 31 They will close their Buckingham Palace office, with their 15 loyal staff reportedly being axed Meghan and Harry will retail their HRH royal titles but will not use them. The same applies to the Duke’s military titles They will not use the word ‘Royal’ in their branding, meaning they will have to rebrand their website and drop their trademark application for Sussex Royal They will return to the UK “regularly”, staying at their Windsor home Frogmore Cottage Rather than setting up a foundation as planned, they will create a new non-profit organisation and will continue working with their existing patronages There will be review of their new set up after 12 months.
“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.”
The Games have now been postponed to 2021. Harry created the tournament in 2014 in London after being inspired by the US Warrior Games, a similar event overseas.
“Stay safe, and stay tuned,” the Invictus Games Instagram captioned the video.
“As #IG2020 prepare to bring The Hague home to you this year, the Invictus Games Foundation Patron The Duke of Sussex has shared a video message of support for the competitors, their friends and families, and all those who were preparing to cheer on international wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women this May.”