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Prince Harry surprises fans with special video message from his LA home

The 2020 Invictus Games were due to begin in The Hague on Saturday 9 May

Jenni McKnight

The Duke of Sussex sent a special video message from his new home in LA on Saturday to mark what would have been the opening ceremony of The Invictus Games 2020. Watch the video below...

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WATCH: Prince Harry marks what would have been the opening ceremony of The Invictus Games

MORE: Best photos from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's glam Invictus Games appearance

In his video message, Harry 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. 

"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. 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."

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Prince Harry revealed dates for the rescheduled Invictus Games will be announced soon

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."

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Meghan Markle at The Invictus Games 2017

The first Invictus Games were held in 2016, and just one year later, Harry was accompanied to the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto by his then-girlfriend Meghan Markle. It was the first time Meghan had supported Harry at a public event since they began their relationship. The former actress was seated a section away from Harry, who watched the proceedings alongside First Lady Melania Trump and Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry at The Invictus Games 2017

Just a few days later, Meghan and Harry made their first public appearance together as a couple watching a wheelchair tennis match. 

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The 2018 Invictus Games took place in Australia during Harry and Meghan's official 16-day autumn tour visiting cities in Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand. The now-married couple attended the wheelchair basketball final at the Quay Centre on 27 October in Sydney.

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Prince Harry attends the launch of Team UK for The Invictus Games The Hague 2020

The fifth Invictus Games were due to start in The Hague on 9 May, but due to the coronavirus outbreak, they were postponed. The organisers are working to reschedule the sporting event for 2021. The inaugural Invictus Games in London 2014 used the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding and respect for wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women.

Earlier this week, Harry and Meghan marked their son Archie's first birthday by releasing an adorable video of the Duchess reading Duck! Rabbit! to the tot. The Sussexes highlighted the work of Save the Children's "Save With Stories" campaign, to support vulnerable families in the UK and US during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's son Archie turned one on 6 May

MORE: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle threw Archie a messy birthday party complete with 'smash cake' – details

Archie giggled at his dad Harry behind the camera as Meghan revealed her sweet nickname for her son – Arch. The tot was born on 6 May 2019 at the Portland Hospital in London and is seventh-in-line to the throne behind his father. The Sussexes have retained their Windsor home, Frogmore Cottage, but are now living in the States after living on Vancouver Island in Canada for a brief period.

Harry and Meghan said they plan to split their time between North America and the UK as they announced their decision to step back from royal duties in January 2020.

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