Royals Attend Invictus Games Opening Ceremony in London

  September 11, 2014 at 7:19 am by

Prince Harry was joined by the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke of Cambridge, Prime Minister David Cameron and Denmark’s Crown Prince Frederik last night for the opening ceremony of the Invictus Games at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

View the full image at The Mirror

The 6,500 spectators gathered on the South Lawn for the event were treated to a spectacle of music and military displays by the Red Arrows, Apache and Merlin helicopters and the Red Devils parachutists. The horses of the Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery also played a part in the show.

Before the over 400 competitors entered the arena, British actor Idris Elba recited the poem which provided the games with their name, William Ernest Henley’s Invictus. “It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul,” it concludes. Then, in alphabetical order, the 14 competing nations made their way in to the rapturous applause of the crowd.

A video segment of some of the competitors’ journey from a war zone to rehabilitation and recovery, and learning the adapted sports, played before Prince Harry gave a speech to officially open the games.

View the full image at The Mirror

“Over the past eight years, I have witnessed the whole cycle of life changing injury; evacuating soldiers and local Afghans to hospital; flying home from Afghanistan with some of those critically injured; meeting others in hospital coming to terms with life changing injuries; and finally trying to keep up with 12 wounded veterans on our way to the South Pole…I can only begin to imagine how challenging the journey of recovery is, but the admiration I have for these men and women, to move beyond their injuries, is limitless,” he said, before describing his experience watching the Warrior Games in the US and how it influenced him to bring a similar concept to Britain.

The Prince concluded, with a sigh of relief, “Finally, I would like to thank you for the tremendous example you set. Your stories move, inspire and humble us. You prove that anything is possible, if you have the will. Welcome to the Games. Welcome to Invictus.”

The Invictus Games run until September 14.

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