After learning that a former Invictus athlete’s wife is currently battling cancer, the royal penned a handwritten letter on the spot, offering her words of encouragement

By Erin Hill
September 28, 2017 05:47 PM
Chris Jackson/Getty

Prince Harry has already had several heartwarming moments at the Invictus Games this week (making faces at a popcorn-stealing toddler, holding hands with girlfriend Meghan Markle), but one of his sweetest moments yet involved a paper and a pen.

After learning that a former Invictus athlete’s wife is currently battling cancer, the royal penned a handwritten letter on the spot, offering her words of encouragement.

Harry sat down for several minutes to write the inspiring note to 53-year-old Guylaine Catelain, wife of Colonel Lauren Catelain, while touring the warm-up area at the cycling competition in Toronto’s High Park Wednesday.

Colonel Catelain, formerly chief of the French mountain commandos, lost both of his legs in Afghanistan and competed at both the London and Orlando Invictus Games. But he was unable to attend this year’s events as he’s at home caring for his wife.

French captain David Travadon told reporters, “I asked Prince Harry to write her a note to encourage her. He took his time to write it and put a lot of care and thought into it.

“It will be very important to her. He sent her his best wishes and told her the spirit of the games is with her.”

RELATED VIDEO: Prince Harry’s Busy Week at the Invictus Games in Toronto

The prince, who served 10 years in the Army, has long been a champion of causes that benefit servicemen and women. And despite being well trained and flying a multi-million dollar Apache helicopter during his second tour of Afghanistan in 2012-13, the former British Army captain told PEOPLE last year about how powerless he felt as he flew missions to save lives.

“You turn up and you think you’re invincible in a super-duper aircraft, but you’re helpless,” he said. “Then I come back and I say, ‘How can I use my name and that spotlight to the best effect?’ ” Creating the Invictus Games, he notes, was “almost like a cure for that pain I had back then.”

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