Prince Harry has reflected on his and Meghan Markle’s first Invictus Games, and how special it was to return together, as parents, for the fifth Games.
The Duke of Sussex, who is currently attending the Invictus Games in The Hague, Netherlands, discussed the Invictus community, and the role it played in the fabric of his and Meghan’s relationship, during a cover interview with People.
The couple made their first public appearance together at the Toronto Invictus Games in 2017, with the royal telling the outlet that “there is nowhere you can feel more embraced and supported than with the Invictus family”.
“The Toronto Games were our first time out and about publicly in an official way. We were dating at the time, so it was a lot to take in, but fortunately, we were with the perfect community for that,” Harry said.
The duke then acknowledged how special it is to have been able to return with Meghan for the Games, which he founded in 2014, this year, as he noted that he “always wanted to share these incredible moments with someone special”.
“Now, five years later, here we are in The Hague at the fifth Invictus Games, as parents of two, and living in the US,” Harry said. “I had always wanted to share these incredible moments with someone special, and to have Meg by my side means everything.”
The couple arrived in The Hague on Friday, after first making a surprise visit to the UK to visit Prince Harry’s grandmother Queen Elizabeth II. The visit marked the first time that the duke and duchess have returned to Europe together since stepping down from their roles as senior members of the royal family in March 2020 and relocating to California.
Meghan has since returned to California, after spending the weekend with her husband.
While speaking to People, Prince Harry, who shares son Archie Harrison, two, and daughter Lilibet “Lili” Diana, 10 months, with Meghan, also reflected on what it means to him to be able to return to the Invictus Games as a father.
Describing himself as a “proud papa,” the duke told the outlet that being a father “certainly adds another emotional layer” to his presence at the Games.
“When I was in the Army, I promised myself I would be out before having a wife and kids, because I couldn’t imagine the heartache of being apart for so long during deployment, the risk of possibly getting injured, and the reality that my family’s lives could be changed forever if that happened,” he said. “Every member of the Invictus community has experienced varying degrees of these things. I have tremendous respect for what they and their families sacrifice in the name of service.”
Harry, who served in Afghanistan as an Apache helicopter co-pilot gunner during 2012-13, founded the Invictus Games as a way to use the “power of sport” to “inspire recovery, support rehabilitation, and generate a wider understanding and respect for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women,” according to the Invictus Games Foundation.