Diana would be proud.
Prince Harry frequently makes headlines for his party boy image and for the occasional nude photo that might surface. However, with the debut of the Invictus Games, Prince William’s younger brother has shown that he has the maturity and the wisdom that many wished he would finally grow into. By creating a games that honors fallen and wounded soldiers, the young prince has not only shown honor to the generations of military that came before him in his own family, he has honored those wounded soldiers that serve across the globe.
The Invictus Games will feature over 400 competitors competing over the course of the next four days, and the event will see both wounded and recovered soldiers alike participating. Dressed in a suit and tie as he gave a speech to open the Games, it was clear that Prince Harry had come into his own. Gone was the roguish soldier with a penchant for parties; in his place was a true man.
Harry captured hearts the world over at the funeral of his mother, Diana, in 1997. He was scarcely a teen then; at 13, he was going through the unimaginable under very public scrutiny, and the world was even more fascinated by the ginger-haired prince. Now an uncle to Prince George and the younger sibling that will be breathlessly anticipated sometime in 2015, in addition to being a decorated soldier, Prince Harry has finally grown into a mature man, capable of not only being the public face of charities he supports on behalf of the Royal Family, but of also creating his own and generating a world of interest in his own right.
The Invictus Games opener featured a taped address from First Lady Michelle Obama and the Invictus Anthem, penned by Coldplay frontman Chris Martin. Invictus is Latin for unconquerable; to be sure, Harry and other members of his organizing staff have chosen an apt descriptor for these wounded and recovering warriors looking to medal at the Games.
Prince Harry has always been vocal in his support of those soldiers who, like him, continue to serve. He has been an active presence for those wounded warriors and in doing so, he has shown that he continues to be a role model and likely something of an inspiration. 6,500 spectators witnessed the opening of the Games, and all erupted in cheers when the team representing the United Kingdom took to the field.
Prince Harry said in his speech that he hoped lives would be changed as a result of the Invictus Games, and he was certain that those participating in the event would demonstrate the remarkable spirit and hope that they have done throughout their recovery. The Royal Family has always been active in its support of the military, through word and deed; generations of them have served in one branch or the other of the military. It should be no surprise that Prince Harry has established an event that will continue to serve as inspiration for soldiers and everyone throughout the globe. Prince Harry has truly come into his own with the advent of the Invictus Games, and will doubtless continue to prove that he is an inspiration to others. He’s transformed himself from heartbroken teen to party boy to a mature adult, and it looks good on him.
Opinion by Christina St-Jean