Prince Harry closes out the 2016 Invictus Games

Prince Harry closes out the 2016 Invictus Games

Prince Harry closed out four days of competition for the 2016 Invictus Games in Orlando, Florida Thursday, May 12.

Prince Harry Invictus closing ceremony

Harry’s speech was actually very moving.

    Good evening everybody and everybody watching at home.
    Wow, what a ride the last four days has been – I said you would be moved, inspired and entertained – was I right? As the great Stevie Wonder says: Team work makes the dream work!
    4 days, 10 sports, 13 support dogs, 14 nations, 149 events, 410 medals, 485 competitors, 836 volunteers, 1008 friends and family, hundreds of hours of gruelling competition – and more smiles, tears, hugs and cheers than you could ever count.
    I’d like to begin by thanking Ken Fisher for taking up the challenge of hosting the games here in the US and also to thank his team, led by Vicky Gosling, for delivering a remarkable event. We’re all so grateful for all you’ve done.
    I’ve been hugely honoured to hand out gold silver and bronze medals over the course of this competition, but what meant the most to me, was handing out your Invictus Foundation medallions this evening. Those medallions are the real prizes, for the years of intense rehabilitation you’ve put yourselves through to be here.
    The competition has been fierce with performances of the highest international standard across a number of events. But what inspired me, was the courage to make it to the starting line, to take to the field or to dive into that pool, motivated by the goal of giving your all – medal or no medal. You showed your families, your friends and yourselves, just how far you’ve come, regardless of the result.
    I know by your nature you all want to win, but these games are so much more than that – Invictus is so much more than that.
    What could explain the remarkable sportsmanship of Mark Urquart in sacrificing gold on the track to push Stephen Simmons into first place? Invictus!
    How else could I describe the way I felt seeing Tim Payne, a man I met three years ago to the day, in his hospital bed at Walter Reed, beaming as he wore his gold medal round his neck? Invictus!
    What defines the spirit of Denmark’s Jonas Andersen, who loaded the coffin of his friend onto the flight which changed my life in 2008, and then fought through his own dark days to compete in London and Orlando? Invictus!
    What is the force that drives Elizabeth Marks to return to these games after nearly dying two years ago, to compete now, at the highest level, in a sport that renders her blind and faint? Invictus!
    What makes us cheer for Luke Synott, who took up wheelchair tennis, not just to represent his country again, but so he could play the sport with his children? Invictus!
    Why did we stand in our seats, cheering our hearts out as Jordanian Wheelchair racer – Ulfat Al-Zwiri – fought, inch by inch, to the finish line? Invictus!
    What else could we say about the woman who wrote to me after watching the opening ceremony on Sunday night, to say she’d realised the time had come for her husband to get help for his depression? Invictus.
    Why did the 9/11 hero, Sarah Rudder, pick herself up when she fell, just meters from the finish line, and push on for a silver medal and into the embrace of her French rival? Invictus!
    You are all Invictus. You are now ambassadors for the spirit of these games. Spread the word. Never stop fighting. And do all you can to lift up everyone around you.
    I’ll see you in Toronto!



Here is a link to the WatchESPN website where you can watch the Invictus Games replay. You have to sign in with your TV provider, though, to be able to watch the shows.

Here are a bunch of photos from the past week of Harry in Orlando.

Here’s a lovely story about an American woman, Sergeant Elizabeth Marks, who gave her medal for the 100-meter freestyle back to Harry telling him to give it to Papworth Hospital in England as a thank you for saving her life two years ago.

    She told reporters of her ordeal: “I landed in London and became very ill very rapidly, I was in hospital in London and went into respiratory distress syndrome, they shipped a team down from Papworth who put me on to ECMO [extracorporeal membrane oxygenation] life support and that ultimately saved my life. And when they did so I was on it for 10 days and ended up waking in an army hospital in Germany having no idea what had happened. But they absolutely saved my life and I can’t thank the UK enough for having that kind of medical support and taking such good care of me. So I gave Prince Harry one of my medals and hope it will find its way back to Papworth.”
    And she’s an ace sportswoman. She netted gold in all four swimming events she entered at the Invictus Games in Orlando this week. “It’s just an honor to be here and stand next to all the other soldiers, I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be. I was a little apprehensive, I was nervous because of what had happened last time but I was eager to perform and show my team and show the other countries how much I love their support.”


52 thoughts on “Prince Harry closes out the 2016 Invictus Games

  1. I love that little salute he gives while walking to his spot to give the speech.The idea of the Invictus games is wonderful and these games have been a great sucess.

  2. Harry and his team did an amazing job putting these games together. I can only imagine there will be even more competitors in Toronto.

    He deserves a nice break to regroup, but duty calls and he has to push on. Hopefully at some point he’ll be able to catch his breath.

    Invictus Games Toronto is only 16 months away. I figure he’ll given his team a week or so off and then it’s back to work. I can’t imagine the next games topping this one, but you know he’ll do his best to make that happen.


  3. The Invictus Games were amazing! Proud to say they were hosted in America! The opening ceremony was great, the closing ceremony was great. The games and athletes were amazing! The pictures we got of King Henry and the people and athletes and the interviews he did, were wonderful, spectacular, amazing, sweet, heart exploding, beautiful, lovely!!

  4. One of the things that impresses me so much about Harry is his ability to take the spotlight that shines on him and redirect it to others and to worthy causes. I never get the impression when he’s working that it’s all about Harry. He has a very humble presence while simultaneously masterfully working the attention he gets to benefit other people.

    The Invictus Games have been a huge success. I can’t wait until next year’s!

  5. Just watched the video- poor man looks totally exhausted. I hope he gets a first class seat home so he can sleep. Will and Kate looked fresh and relaxed after their ‘gruelling tour’ of India and Bhutan.

    Love the doggie swimming race ?

  6. These pics are making me so happy, I have a huge smile on my face right now. And his speech… The part where he talked about the competitors gave me goosebumps. Harry deserves all the praise he’s getting.

  7. Greetings Everyone –

    Generosity of spirit knows no bounds. Prince Harry has well and truly given “life” to the broken, helped bind the wounds of the injured, inspired the damaged souls of these truly brave men and women.

    Alongside these people are their families, the volunteers, trainers, coaches, dogs/animal support, spectators and of course the Fallen – the one or the many that were beside each and every one of these survivors that never made it home.

    A good kind man created the Invictus Games – Prince Harry has found his calling.

    This is testament to a life worthwhile – giving back to what gave him the greatest gift of all. Humility.

    An exceptional group of people, the bravest of the brave.

    I know that this has brought joy to my heart, tears to my eyes but speaking for myself, I also hope I speak for all of us:

    Kindness is a language which the blind can see and the deaf can hear.

    So, it is with the deepest of respect that a huge shout out to Prince Harry (first and foremost for the inspired idea) and to all those who “stand” alongside him – you make a World that sorely needs healing, a beacon of hope.

    A basket full of happiness to all, a wish that your candle glows a little brighter tonight to light your way and all the love your hearts can hold.

    The Wild Rose.

    1. wildrose, sometimes I think you are a kind of Dalai Lama or something. Your words make me think about things with deep care. I said before and I say it again: I love your posts. When I read “Greetings Everyone –” I already know it’s you. Great. And I agree with what you said. A basket full of happiness to you, too.

  8. Harry has found his calling. He is such a caring guy and even though he looks exhausted by the end of it, he should be incredibly proud of what he has achieved. I am sure that the BRF appreciate what an asset that they have in Harry.

    He is such a gorgeous (both inside and outside) guy.

  9. Amazing cause, amazing IG. Great job of Harry, his team and all the persons that organized this games. Like he said in this speech from the opening ceremony, these veterans are inspiring.

    Like Lilibet, he “takes the spotlight that shines on him and redirect it to others and to worthy causes”.

    These speeches from the opening and closing ceremony were very very good : it comes from the heart and he believed in what he said.

    We hear about the stories :and that is good. The girl that Harry kisses (in the 4th photo), Katie Kuiper, said : “I feel invisible a lot of the time because of the way I look. He made me feel special.”

    And all the positive comments coming from the veterans about what IG means to them (some have IAM or INVICTUS tattooed), about Harry being one of them and easy going.

    And what I love is that he created links, he remembers people that he meets (not everybody, it is impossible) : we see again Rio, the little girl that was in his shoulders in the ending concert last IG… It is concrete for him.

  10. Congratulations to Prince Harry! The Queen should award him with Order of the Garter or a Dukedom. In 1987 the Queen gave princess Anne the title Princess Royal for her dedication &not being overshadowed by her glamorous sisters-in-law’s titles( the prncess of Wales & Duchess of York)

    1. The style Princess Royal is a style that is awarded by the monarch to the eldest daughter of the monarch. It’s basically just a courtesy title which holds no meaning other than that it signifies the eldest daughter of the monarch. It was created in 1642 because the Queen at the time wanted a British version of what the French had for the eldest daughter of their monarch (“Madame Royale”, which was a courtesy title that held no real meaning).

      The style is for life, and there can only ever be one Princess Royal at a time. Anne was not eligible to receive the title until 1965 when the previous holder died. If William were to become king tomorrow, Charlotte would not be able to be bestowed the title Princess Royal until Anne dies.

      I don’t know why Anne didn’t receive the Princess Royal style until 1987 (other than that the Queen is stingy with giving out orders and titles and such), but there is no rule to say that she had to earn it or anything. Princess Victoria, Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter, received it when she was one.

      Re Harry getting a dukedom or Order of the Garter: He won’t get a dukedom until he marries if the Queen gives him one at all. And he won’t get the Order of the Garter for at least another decade if the Queen gives that to him at all. Harry may have to wait until Charles is king to receive that level of order since QEII is quite stingy with orders and such (except for with Charles, because a lot of his stuff was automatic, and William for some reason).

      1. Thanks for the info KMR. THere were rumours at that time that The Queen was eager to bestow the title of princess Royal to Anne earlier but she was reluctant to receive it as she happy to live without titles. That all changed when Diana & Sarah came to the scene. The Queen insisted that Anne got the title so as not to be upstaged by them. That’s what I heard. But Harry is Harry & he should be rewarded!

        1. I know Anne and her first husband refused a title when they married. I would love for Harry to be rewarded for his work, I just don’t think that will happen any time soon. He did receive the Royal Victorian Order last year though. But the Order of the Garter is the highest order in the UK and QEII doesn’t bestow that easily.

      2. The order of the garter (and the Thistle for Scotland) has limited numbers. It’s given out when a place becomes available. And while people are supposed to earn it, status trumps that. This means that as heirs, Charles and William went to the top of the queue as soon as places were available irrespective of whether they earned their place. The spares had to earn ( or give appearance of earning) their orders.

        However, HM has already shown her appreciation of Harry by making him a knight commander of the Royal victorian order which William doesn’t have. That is in the gift of the monarch only and usually given for personal service to the monarchy rather than status.

        In recent pics, it’s the star medal Harry wears around his neck.

        As for Princess Royal title, it’s like the POW and DOY titles. It’s reserved for the eldest daughter of the monarch.

        Btw, speaking of stinginess of handing out these titles, there is no reason to wait until marriage to hand out these titles or later in life. That’s simply how HM likes to do it.

        As long as title is vacant, it can be handed out. There has never been any doubt that Andrew would receive York ducal title since that is reserved for second son of Monarch. Ditto Anne as the Princess Royal.

        Edward, as a 3rd son is tricky. However, there are reserved royal ducal titles that he could have been given, but i suppose Philip wished to have one of his sons inherit his title seeing as they couldn’t carry his name.

      3. William was the 1000th recipient of the Order of the Garter, I *think* that’s the only reason the Queen bestowed it on him. Nice round number. As far as the rest of the family, Anne was 44, Andrew was 46, and Edward was 42 when they became members. So a decade or so sounds right for Harry (based on past performance) and yes, the Queen is much stingier than she used to be 🙂

        The maximum of 24 Knights/Ladies of the Garter doesn’t mean anything for members of the Royal Family. They are Royal Knights, and other royalty like King Harald and the Emperor of Japan are Stranger Knights (I know, weird title) so those don’t count towards the 24 either.

        She should (IMO) elevate Harry from KCVO (Knight Commander) to GCVO (Knight Grand Cross) of the Royal Victorian Order.

        1. I wonder, if the queen really bestows a special knighthood to Harry, will William be proud & supportive of him or will he be making his infamous cynical jokes?

          1. I agree. I can’t see William being supportive of his brother getting a special honor ahead of him. I really wonder how supportive William really is because it doesn’t seem like he is.

          2. This makes me think back to the When Harry was starting to launch the 1st IG and Charles came to see his son. William stopped in to pose and count it in his tally. The look on William’s face when he expected Charles to go to him was priceless. Meanwhile, Charles is just Beaming with pride and goes to Harry 1st.

            I think William has expected his existence to justify what others earn.

        2. Thank you Szolo and HeraZeus for this information. I looked up the Order of the Garter, and it seems the sovereign can invite anyone he or she wants to join, up to 24 people (including the sovereign and the PoW). So, the Queen has basically invited her family to join. That just seems silly and not prestigious at all.

  11. Thanks for the info Herazeus & KMR. I’m sure Charles is so proud of Harry to be able to hold an international event like that. No wonder people are calling him King Henry IX. William must be so furious!

  12. I have read the Invictus games coverage unfailingly. I have no words to describe the amazement that a young man like Harry had the vision and the drive and the hard work to spearhead and put on an event like this. I had smiles and tears while reading this. I am glad that the games are coming to my hometown next year and I’ll look to volunteer 🙂

    1. On this RT we agree! I think what he has achieved is stunning and I do not believe it would have happened without his Royal touch. With reference to the debate above I would be so disappointed if HM does not give him a significant reward for this. He has achieved REAL things whereas W&K just ‘learn’ and write poorly written notes.
      Harry is the type of person who puts the Great into Britain. I’m very very proud of him.

      1. The U.S. loved Harry! He was all over cable and evening news this week in the U.S. Harry worked hard doing interviews and bringing the spotlight to the soldiers and IG.

        Birdy, if we don’t see anything in the U.S. right away, can you let us know about the gold medal getting to the medical team who saved the young soldier’s life?

  13. Harry is brilliant! And I won’t read the speech, because my teenagd sons are in the same room with me and I know I will be in tears and that would be embarrassing, wouldn’t it.

    Just another thought. Obviously this excellent performance means Harry has worked a lot behind the scenes to make this happen. So if he disappears for a while, nobody should call him lazy. He clearly isn’t.

  14. Oh my goodness, the doggie video brought tears to my eyes, especially the one dog that obviously wasn’t comfortable in the water but did his/her bit for their people!! Such loyalty and love, praise dog!!

  15. This round up of photos was fantastic. So was Harry’s speech. I got chills reading it.
    The Games were an enormous success and everyone who participated, as well as all who worked on the actual event, deserve heartfelt applause.

    The different people’s stories that were highlighted in Harry’s speech touched me deeply.
    People all face challenges as best they can, but these people are truly remarkable. I don’t know which ones to single out as they all deserve the highest recognition. I do think that the man who wanted to learn to play table tennis to play with his kids was very endearing. As was the woman who gave one of her medals to Prince Harry to present to the medical team who helped her.

    But, I want to hold onto all their stories and ask God to bless them all. Everyone who worked so hard, too.

    Prince Harry is a remarkable, kind and honorable man. He did look tired at the end, but I am sure he feels amazingly blessed, too.

    All together now: Thank you, Prince Harry and everyone who participated and worked to make this event a huge success. (This includes volunteers like our dear Rhiannon). You have won our hearts and given yourself a great place of honor in a world that needs uplifting stories of courage and hope.

    How could the Queen and her husband, Charles and Camilla, and William and Kate not be proud of Harry!

  16. As a mother of serviceman who has suffered and struggled, words really can’t express my gratitude to Prince Harry and others like him who work so hard to help these young men and women. I’m sorry can’t say more but I can’t see my computer screen through my tears.

    1. Oh, Lauri sending you and your son much love. I am sorry for what your son and his family have endured and wish him and all of you peace of mind and heart.

    2. I’m a bit misty myself. Need a bit more starch in my upper lip.

      Katie Kuiper (sorry if I misspelt her last name!) is the athlete Harry is kissing up there. I did not realize that the gunshot wound to her face was self inflicted after she returned home. So those invisible injuries can defintely manifest in physical ones, if not death. I have incredible respect for her coming out and racing in an international venue.

      And if you all really want to start blubbering, go over to youtube and search for Invictus Choir. There are two BBC episodes about it.

      1. Thanks for the Choir story. I think I have something in my eyes all the time I’m watching these videos.

      2. It’s a bit silly really, as soon as I open this post I start tearing up. Thanks for thought but I think I’ll skip watching the Invictus Choir, at least for today.

    3. Oh Lauri from Ca, much love to you and your son. If we are moved and happy for the Invictus Games, I imagine how you, as a mother of serviceman who has suffered and struggled, are feeling. The soldiers are much more than people who fighted in wars, they are inspiring people who show us the meaning of serving the country. As I saw someone say: “no one shows greater love for his/her country than the one who gives his/her life for it.”

    4. Hugs, Lauri. I think that the family serves along with the soldier. They love their soldier both in and out of combat. I salute you and your son.

  17. There’s also much to be said for the amount of dedication needed to pull something like this together so quickly. It’s no small task even with royal attachment.

  18. Awesome post. Awesome comments. Awesome young and genuine young man who shows his gratitude for all he has been given and his respect for those whose lives are a daily struggle. Thanks KMR. Thanks commenters. And thanks to the man who should be the absolute pride of Britain. Prince Harry.

  19. Oh God, the more I see Harry the more I love him. I read everything about IG and I loved the official twiter of the games. The pride and happines around was noticeable. I had read the story of Sergeant Elizabeth Marks, it’s really moving. Harry’s speech was wonderful, I am sure he was very tired but you stiil saw his energy and enthusiasm. Only see the las photo, he is very happy and proud. Rhiannon, only today I read your comment and I am very happy for you having met Harry. I was sure you would not be disappointed, He is amazing. Invictus. Thanks KMR for the posts abou Harry.

    P.S. At the moment one of the things I’m most Invictus is in my disbelief in William and Kate, LOL

  20. This was a wonderful event. These soldiers are beyond amazing. Their spirit was beyond measure. Looking at them is a reminder of their sacrifice to their respective countries. Let us never forget them.

    Harry has proven that he’s a man of the people. While William is the heir, Harry is the true king of hearts. He’s a wonderful ambassador for his family. It’s a shame that his family weren’t there to support him.

    On a superficial note, I need the winds of destiny to get us togethet, stat! He’s a handsome man with a heart of gold.

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