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Prince Harry's latest honor as a 'living legend' sparks debate

The Prince’s work with setting up the Invictus Games Foundation will also be celebrated

Prince Harry has lost his bid to throw out Mail on Sunday publisher's defence to libel claim© Getty
Faye James
Senior Editor
January 11, 2024
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The recent announcement of Prince Harry's induction as a 'living legend' of aviation, alongside distinguished figures like Buzz Aldrin, has stirred considerable debate and varying reactions online. 

This prestigious accolade, to be presented at a Beverly Hills ceremony hosted by John Travolta, recognizes individuals for significant contributions to aviation and aerospace. 

The decorated event has been previously dubbed by actor Morgan Freeman as the Oscars of aviation. 

It is understood that his work with setting up the Invictus Games Foundation will also be celebrated, according to the awards. 

All about Prince Harry's military career

Despite Harry's military background and his involvement in various humanitarian initiatives, the decision has led to mixed reactions, particularly on social media.

Social media users have expressed skepticism and confusion about Prince Harry's achievements in the field of aviation that warrant such recognition. 

Prince Harry is no longer allowed to wear his military uniform to official royal events© Getty
Prince Harry's award has sparked debate

One person commented on X, "Is this a joke? What is the legendary stuff that he has done? I am asking seriously! What the heck has he done?" 

“I look forward to every other military pilot in the world being given the same award based on his accomplishments in that field,” wrote another. 

The royal made several jokes about himself before delivering a passionate speech© Stand Up For Heroes
Prince Harry is a humanitarian, military veteran, mental wellness advocate, and environmentalist

This sentiment echoes the surprise of some over the decision to include Prince Harry alongside other esteemed aviation figures.

However, supporters of Prince Harry have defended the honor, pointing to his notable military service, which includes two tours in Afghanistan as a forward air controller and an Apache helicopter pilot. 

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry walking hand-in-hand on an athletics track© Karwai Tang
Meghan and Harry at the Invictus Games

Fans of the Sussexes have extended their congratulations, with one user referring to him as "soldier Harry" and commending his military accomplishments.

The award, often compared to the Oscars of aviation, also acknowledges Prince Harry's work in establishing the Invictus Games Foundation and his roles as a humanitarian, mental wellness advocate, and environmentalist. 

His endeavors with Travalyst, Sentebale, African Parks, WellChild, BetterUp, the Aspen Institute Commission on Information Disorder, and The Archewell Foundation have been highlighted in the context of the award.

Harry serving as an Apache helicopter pilot in Afghanistan in 2012© WPA Pool
Harry in the front seat of his cockpit of an Apache helicopter at the British controlled flight-line in Camp Bastion

The Kiddie Hawk Air Academy, which organizes the event, aims to honor "remarkable people of extraordinary accomplishment in aviation."

The event's website elaborated on Prince Harry's selection, stating, "Prince Harry is a humanitarian, military veteran, mental wellness advocate, and environmentalist. He has dedicated his life to advancing causes that he is passionate about and that bring about permanent change for people and places."

In addition to his military career, the website also praised Harry for his "compassion, vulnerability, and unflinching honesty" in his memoir "Spare," and his efforts to turn his pain into purpose following the tragic death of his mother, Princess Diana.

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