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Prince Harry to Team Ukraine at Invictus Games: “The World Is United With You”


After a two-year Covid suspension, the Invictus Games, an athletic competition for wounded service personnel and veterans, returned on Saturday in The Hague, Netherlands. Prince Harry, who founded the games in 2014, was present for the commencement, as was Meghan Markle, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, and members of the Dutch royal family. 

But all eyes were on Team Ukraine, one of 20 nations represented. As the Associated Press reported, some of the visiting competitors were “taking a brief break from defending their country against the Russian invasion that triggered a devastating war.” As the team waved their yellow and blue flag, the proceedings halted as all gathered cheered for “nearly a minute.”

When Prince Harry took to the microphone, he addressed the Ukrainian team, saying “your bravery in choosing to come and for being here tonight cannot be overstated.” He added an assurance that “you know we stand with you. The world is united with you. And still you deserve more.” 

He also added that his son, Archie, says he wants to be a helicopter pilot when he grows up.

Earlier in the proceedings, Meghan Markle, in introducing her husband, reminded the crowd that the Games’s founder “is your fellow veteran, having served two tours of duty in Afghanistan and 10 years of military service.” She added that Harry is “the founder of the Invictus Games and the father to our two little ones, Archie and Lili.”

In addition to making speeches at the opening ceremony, Harry and Meghan took in a volleyball competition on Easter Sunday, wore sharp-yet-casual clothing, and even petted some dogs. The BBC noted that a camera crew has been with them every step of the way, filming them for a forthcoming Netflix special. (On Friday, the Sussexes rode around in kiddie cars as a ’70s French pop hit played on a P.A. system, and Harry helped navigate an obstacle course to the Black Eyed Peas.)

Before coming to the Netherlands, the couple’s first trip to the far side of the pond since 2020, they stopped in London for what has been described as a “peace summit” with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles. 

Previous Invictus Games have been held in London, Orlando, Toronto, and Sydney. Next year’s event is set for Düsseldorf, Germany.

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