Prince Harry returned to the United States to open the 2016 Invictus Games in Orlando, Florida, as reported yesterday by the Inquisitr. His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales, son of HRH Charles, Prince of Wales, and the late Princess Diana, founded the Invictus Games as a way to honor wounded veterans.
As Captain Wales of the British Army, the handsome red-haired prince fought alongside brave men and women. Not all of them made it home. Of those who survived, few of them made it home in the same condition they’d left, some returning with physical scars, some returning without limbs, and all of them returning with battle-scarred souls. The Invictus Games are an international effort to show that wounded warriors are still capable of great deeds.
The 2016 Invictus Games run from May 8 to May 12 in Orlando, Florida. Five hundred servicemen and women from 14 countries, all wounded in the line of duty, are competing in 10 different events. This year’s events are paralympic athletics (equivalent to track & field), archery, wheelchair basketball, indoor rowing, wheelchair rugby, para-cycling, sitting volleyball, paralympic swimming, triathlon, and wheelchair tennis. “Invictus” is Latin for unconquered or undefeated. William Ernest Henley’s poem “Invictus,” which most people have to memorize in high school, refers to the “unconquerable soul.” Many of the athletes in the games take inspiration from its famous final lines.
“I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.”
To Captain Wales, the Queen of England is his sovereign lady and commander in chief. However, to HRH Prince Harry, the queen is his loving and beloved grandmother, and he hesitated only slightly to take advantage of nepotism and ask her to get involved, as shown in this clip from BBC News.
Prince Harry said, “She was more than happy to oblige.”
Prince Harry, according to BBC News, hopes this year’s Invictus Games will help “smash the stigma” about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental and emotional injuries sustained in combat. As Prince Harry told ABC News, post-traumatic stress “is not a disorder, it’s an injury.” One of the prince’s goals with the 2016 Invictus Games is to encourage veterans and active duty military personnel to get the help they need for invisible injuries without fear of scorn or harming their careers.
“Veterans need more than thanks and a handshake. They need opportunities. Businesses and communities need what they have to offer.”
Prince Harry not only opened the Invictus Games but passed out medals to some of the winners. While the prince shared a manly embrace of congratulations to the UK’s first gold medalist, Michael Yule, who lost both legs to a Taliban bomb in Afghanistan, the world’s most eligible bachelor had something more for some of the female competitors. Prince Harry kissed Sergeant First Class Katie Kuiper, a cyclist. SFC Kuiper was shot in the head in 2013.
American gold medalist Jennifer Schuble, a former army lieutenant, pointed out that usually the medals are passed out by pretty models, not handsome princes.
“Normally you get gorgeous female models giving out medals at traditional cycling events. To have Prince Harry was absolutely unbelievable – ten times better for a woman than getting a model!”
Prince Harry is considered one of the world’s most eligible bachelors, being fifth in line to the throne of the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Barbados, Belize, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent, and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Kitts, and Nevis. The Telegraph reported that presidential daughter and granddaughter Jenna Bush jokingly offered to fix up Prince Harry with her twin sister, Barbara Bush.
Prince Harry served in the British Army for ten years, from 2005 to 2015, and held the rank of captain. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth last year.
[Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images]