The Invictus Games are so special to Prince Harry that just days after welcoming son Archie in May, he traveled to the Netherlands to kick off the official countdown

By Stephanie Petit
October 29, 2019 09:12 AM
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Prince Harry was in his element on Tuesday, getting to know the athletes who will represent the U.K. at the 2020 Invictus Games.

The royal dad attended the team launch at the Honourable Artillery Company in London, meeting the 65 members who will head to The Hague in the Netherlands this spring to play in the Invictus Games, a Paralympics-style competition for wounded, injured and sick service personnel. More than 30% of Team U.K. are still serving (others are veterans) and 89% have never competed at an Invictus Games before.

Prince Harry, 35, heard from the competitors to find out more about their recovery journey as well as the impact the Invictus Games have had on their lives. He also posed for the first official team photograph with the athletes.

The U.K. is one of 19 nations who will be taking part in the fifth Invictus Games from May 9 to 16 in The Hague. Over 500 competitors will compete in 10 adaptive sports.

Prince Harry
Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Prince Harry
Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images
Prince Harry
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

“Prince Harry created the Invictus Games to celebrate the power of sport rehabilitation (both physically and mentally) and to generate a wider appreciation for those who serve their country,” according to a post on Harry and Meghan Markle‘s Instagram page. “Participating in the games plays a significant part in the recovery journey of wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women. It doesn’t just heal the individual, it heals the whole family. Over the last few years, the stories of determination and perseverance that come out of each Invictus Game are nothing short of inspiring.”

Prince Harry
Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Prince Harry
Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images

The Invictus Games are so special to Harry, who served in the Army for more than 10 years, that just days after welcoming son Archie in May, he traveled to the Netherlands to kick off the official countdown to the 2020 Games. During the visit, Harry tried his hand at archery, landing the arrow close to the target’s center and receiving a congratulatory handshake for his efforts.

Harry put his love for newborn son on display by wearing a jacket with the words “Invictus Family Daddy” embroidered on it in bold lettering. Taking things to an even more touching level, within the phrase there was an even more touching message highlighted in yellow lettering, which read: “I Am Daddy.” And even when he wasn’t outside, Harry’s love for his baby boy was still on display, as underneath the jacket he wore a black shirt with the same embroidering on it.

Prince Harry
Chris Jackson/Getty
Prince Harry
Chris Jackson Pool/Getty Images
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“I had seen first-hand the transformative power of sport in helping people physically and psychologically recover and knew that the Invictus Games would change lives, capture hearts and inspire a generation, the Invictus generation,” Harry said in a speech during the visit. “Now here we are, launching the countdown to the fifth Invictus Games and I am absolutely thrilled that many more wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women will have the opportunity to continue their journey to recovery.”