The first official event of Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, after the birth of his son Archie Harrison, was the launch of the Invictus Games The Hague 2020. He probably would have prefered to stay at home with his newborn son, but the little boy was born after his due date it seems, and the Invictus Games are highly important for Harry. He was the person that founded the games back in 2014. Since they have been held in Orlando (USA), Toronto (Canada) and Sydney (Australia). From 9 to 16 May 2020 the Invictus Games will take place in The Hague, The Netherlands. Luckily for Harry the flight from London is hardly one hour, although unfortunately his commercial flight was a bit delayed.
Upon arrival at the Zuiderpark in The Hague Harry was greeted, and of course congratulated, by Princess Margriet of the Netherlands. She recently was chosen to be the Honorary Chair of the Advisory Committee of the games. This international sporting event was set up for armed services personnel and veterans with physical or psychological injuries. More than 500 athletes from over 19 countries will take part. The Invictus Games uses the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding and respect for wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women.
Inside Harry met with people who want to compete in next year’s games. Princess Margriet handed him a baby-gro with the text “Invictus Games” on it. Furthermore he received a stuffed stork, the symbol of The Hague, from mayor Pauline Krikke. In his speech Harry said:
“Make these games your own, I chose you for a reason, and it wasn’t just because I like the colour orange.”
In the previous editions he certainly can’t have overlooked the many Dutch fans, dressed in the national colour orange. After the official launch it was time for a short bike ride in the Zuiderpark. Nothing more Dutch than a bike, and when a journalist asked Harry whether he liked it, with a big smile he said “yes”. For who didn’t notice: Harry wore a jacket with the words “Invictus Family” and “Daddy” on the chest.
Myself I think the Invictus Games are a wonderful initiative. I have followed the past editions from behind my computer, but if I get the chance next year, I might go to The Hague and experience it myself. A (former) colleague of mine from the Ukraine last year volunteered for her country’s team and actually travelled to Sydney. I totally enjoyed reading about her experience and seeing her pictures.
For the fans outside it was amazing to get so close to both Prince Harry and Princess Margriet and to be able to take so many lovely pictures. Unfortunately however Harry didn’t collect the many lovely gifts that fans (and journalists) had taken with them for Archie Harrison.
Jacobien, thanks a lot for the permission to use your wonderful pictures. For more pictures visit her blog Koninklijke Foto’s.