Michelle Turner says she is thankful that Harry is staying on as patron of the Invictus Games despite his royal exit: "It means so much to him"

By Simon Perry and Stephanie Petit
February 28, 2020 11:03 AM

Prince Harry may have joined forces with a music icon in Jon Bon Jovi, but his visit to Abbey Road Studios on Friday was all about the Invictus Games team.

Michelle Turner, a veteran of the Invictus Games Choir and an athlete in the Toronto Games, was on-hand Friday when the rocker led the choir in a version of his song “Unbroken” at the iconic recording home of The Beatles. Turner said Prince Harry, who created the Paralympics-style competition for veterans and service members in 2014, was “blown away” by the performance.

“It means so much to him — the Invictus Games and the Invictus Games Choir,” she tells PEOPLE. “It’s his baby. He created it for this reason — to get veterans back together again.”

Credit: Neil Mockford/GC Images
Prince Harry
| Credit: PA Images
Prince Harry
| Credit: PA Images

And Queen Elizabeth‘s grandson, 35, is hardly the only person impacted by the Invictus Games.

“There’s a lady in our choir who’s got facial injuries, and she would hide her face all the time,” Turner explains. “And today she was loud and proud and sung with her head held high — and that’s what it’s all about.”

Turner was medically discharged after 21 years due to contracting a disease which affected her heart.

“After 150 collapses why would I dive into a swimming pool? Because Prince Harry and his Invictus Games teaches me I can,” she says.

Prince Harry and Jon Bon Jovi
| Credit: HANNAH MCKAY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Turner said that Harry “seems great” despite his and wife Meghan Markle‘s very public departure from their roles in the royal family, going into effect at the end of March.

“We are very honored that he’s staying as the patron of the Invictus Games,” says the former IT worker in the Royal Air Force. “And we need him, and he needs us.”

“You wouldn’t think that if you’re injured that you’d recover through the power of sport or the power of singing, but you do,” Turner adds. “Being part of something, being part of a team again, and that’s what he created this for. He had to leave. And just like we were medically discharged. This is his hand back in and his way of being one of the boys.”

Prince Harry and Jon Bon Jovi
| Credit: PA Images

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In addition to the performance, Harry and Bon Jovi met members of the choir and competitors from previous Invictus Games who were invited to join the celebration. The Duke of Sussex and the music legend even headed outside to recreate The Beatles’ famous Abbey Road album cover in the crosswalk.

The next Invictus Games take place in The Netherlands in May.