Prince Harry has praised the Invictus Game for saving the lives of military personnel who may have died by suicide without the sporting event.
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Speaking at the closing ceremony in The Hague, the Duke of Sussex spoke of his pride in the competitors sitting before him. He told the audience: “You have all summited your mountain. And I could not be prouder of every single one of you".
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He continued: “We, your friends and family, could not be prouder of who you are and what you represent, especially given what it’s taken to get here. Mindset is everything.
"From interviews that Invictus did across the park this week, and as some of you have shared with me personally, many would have taken their own life had it not been for these games.
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"You made the choice to be here, to stay with us, to grow with us, and I can’t explain how much it means to me and how much all of you mean to us. So thank you.
"This is a blueprint of what the wider world needs today – the power of resilience, the power of healing and the power of recovery."
Harry made the comments at the closing ceremony
The father-of-two, who has been outspoken about his own mental health battles, continued: "So if, or when, you feel alone, please know that you are not alone. This community is with you. We are all with you.
"To friends and family, we wouldn’t be here without you. We thank you for sharing and shouldering the weight of our wounds, from vulnerability comes strength, and together all of us are defining the Invictus generation, in or out of uniform we stand up to injustice. We answer the call for help.
"We defend those that need defending. Service and sacrifice is in our blood and don’t you ever forget it."
Harry thanked friends and family for 'shouldering the weight of our wounds'
The 38-year-old told the competitors that he was "honored" to have served alongside everyone, thanking them for their service and concluding: "We’ll see you in Dusseldorf."
The closing ceremony came after Harry was joined by King Willem‑Alexander at the wheelchair basketball final. The duke also enjoyed a quiet drink with friends on Thursday night at O’Casey’s Irish Pub in the city.
Pub owner John Gulay, 51, said Harry had a single pint of Guinness before switching to lemonade.
Meghan joined Harry for the first few days
Harry and wife Meghan made their first public appearance together in Europe for the opening ceremony since quitting as senior working royals more than two years ago.
Harry attended events all week and a camera crew filming for a Netflix documentary called Heart Of Invictus – a series from Harry and Meghan’s Archewell Productions following people competing at the event – was seen close to the couple during their time at the games.
Harry and Meghan signed a multimillion-pound deal with streaming giant Netflix in 2020.
In 2023, the Invictus Games will take place in Dusseldorf and it will return to Canada in 2025, taking place in Vancouver and Whistler.
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