Prince Harry's Invictus Games kicked off five years ago in London — and he's getting candid about his nerves then

By Stephanie Petit
September 10, 2019 01:58 PM

Prince Harry is reflecting on five years of the Invictus Games — including his own less-than-polished moments along the way!

In a new video posted on the @SussexRoyal Instagram page he shares with wife Meghan Markle, the 34-year-old royal gets real about the anxiousness that came with hosting the very first Paralympics-style event in London. Harry shared that he was worried about everything from the weather cooperating for the outdoor ceremony to whether people would actually come — and of course, there was his speech.

“On the night, we had the lecture or podium right in front of all the competitors so I could just see all their faces, and they started chanting,” Prince Harry recalled. “I was so nervous. I was shaking.”

Chris Jackson/Getty

“I knew I had a certain window to be able to get my words out, and we were also running behind. So I rushed it. It was probably one of the worst speeches I’ve ever given,” he added with a laugh.

Harry also talked about his favorite Invictus Games moment, a U.K. victory over the U.S. in wheelchair basketball during the first event, and what he’s proud of most.

The Invictus Games first took place in London on September 10, 2014. On Tuesday, Harry stepped out to attend a reception for past and present competitors and their families at The Guildhall. The party “celebrates the power of the Invictus Spirit in changing people’s lives and demonstrate the leading role of the Invictus Games Foundation in delivering and inspiring recovery and rehabilitation through international sport and competition,” his office at Buckingham Palace said.

The former Army captain delivered a speech and listened as former competitors JJ Chalmers, from the U.K., and William Reynolds from the U.S., shared their recovery journey post-Invictus Games. The games are similar to the U.S. Warrior Games, which was created in 2010 by the United States Department of Defense. Harry says he was inspired to create his own international event after traveling to Colorado to watch a British team compete at the games in 2013.

Prince Harry
Chris Jackson/Getty

In 2017 the Games unfolded in Toronto, Canada – when the prince took the opportunity to step out in public for the first time with then-girlfriend Meghan — and last year in Sydney, Australia, just after the couple had announced that they were expecting baby Archie.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry at 2017 Invictus Games
Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock
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The 2020 Invictus Games will take place in The Hague, The Netherlands.