Prince Harry on Armistice Day: 'To describe yourself as a soldier means something'

As his aunt the Countess of Wessex paid her respects at the 9/11 memorial in New York City on Veterans Day, Prince Harry marked Britain's Armistice Day by meeting with injured servicemen and women at the Endeavour Fund charity event. The Fund, which has supported nearly 1,000 injured and sick personnel over the past three years alone, is particularly meaningful to Harry, who served 10 years in the military and only left the Army this past June.


Prince Harry met with injured servicemen at a reception for the Endeavour Fund
Photo: Getty Images

During a speech at the dinner, the 31-year-old royal spoke of the struggles of those wounded in battle. "For some people, the struggle to move beyond injury or past experience continues," he said. "They suffer in silence, unwilling or unaware of which way to turn for help; for whatever reason they have become 'the hard to reach'. No longer accessible through the traditional networks, as they have gone to ground, believing that the right help isn't out there for them, or it's all just too confusing and complicated."

The royal gave an impassioned speech at the event Photo: Getty Images

He continued: "Those who have spent time in the military are proud to acknowledge that they are defined by that service. To describe yourself as a soldier, sailor or airman means something. But when that is taken away through injury or illness, sometimes that definition of self and all that goes with it can become a negative, anchoring you to the past."

The Royal Foundation-led project aims to help pay for rehabilitation, adapt homes to accommodate soldiers with life-changing injuries, and boost recovery chances by giving them the opportunity to work as part of a team.

Prince Harry's evening with wounded veterans was just the latest memorable occasion for the royal in recent weeks. He made a whirlwind trip to Washington, D.C. in late October – meeting with President Obama and First Lady Michelle – joined Kate and William at the Spectre premiere in London and also attended the Rugby World Cup as honorary president of England Rugby 2015.