Saturday, 16 April 2022

Invictus Games Opening Ceremony, Harry Tells Veterans "God I Missed You", As Meghan Tells Harry "I Could Not Love You More"

It was an incredibly moving evening at the Hague for the Invictus Games 2022 Opening Ceremony.

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arriving.

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It followed a day which saw a visit to Team UK at the British Embassy Tent and an afternoon enjoying the Land Rover Defender Challenge.

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Harry and Meghan took their seats with Invictus Games Foundation CEO Dominic Reid and former Dutch Team Captain Edwin de Wolf.

The word 'Invictus' is Latin for ‘unconquered’ and embodies the fighting spirit of wounded, injured and ill servicemen and women.

They have been tested and challenged, but they have not been overcome. 

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They have proven that by embracing one another and the support of family and friends, proving they can reclaim their future. They are Invictus. Most of us will never know the horrors of combat -- horrors so great that many servicemen and women suffer life-changing injuries, both visible and invisible, while serving their countries, while serving us.

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During a trip to the Warrior Games in the United States in 2013, the Duke of Sussex saw the positive impact sport could have on the recovery and rehabilitation of wounded, injured and ill servicemen and women. He vowed to take the idea and launch a similar event in the UK. The Invictus Games Foundation was established, and in 2014 London hosted the inaugural Invictus Games at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, with more than 400 competitors from 13 nations. The second Invictus Games took place in May 2016 in Orlando, Florida, followed by Toronto in September 2017 and Sydney in 2018. The games have been an astounding success, and Harry's determination and dedication has been nothing short of inspirational. They are a testament to his belief in those who served. As Harry said, "Once served, always serving."

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Following a minute's silence, 500 athletes and their families took centre stage. A seat was left empty at each event throughout Invictus in memory of those who have lost their lives.

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A warm round of applause for Team Netherlands.

The scene at the Invictus Games stadium earlier today...

...and this evening!

The Kaiser Chiefs take to the stage.

The Prime Minister of Netherlands delivered a speech at the event, welcoming competitors and guests including Harry and Meghan. Addressing the audience he said: "Welcome to my home country. Due to the pandemic we have had to wait a while. You are ready. The Hague is ready. We are all ready to enjoy a fantastic week of sport."

Princess Margriet of the Netherlands cheered Team Netherlands this evening. Her sister Beatrix was Queen of the Netherlands before retiring from the role. A passionate support of veterans and the military community, Margriet was delighted to wish the team all the best. King Willem-Alexander will attend events later in the week, including the Closing Ceremony.

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Harry presenting medals for the driving challenge. Bronze to Georgia, Silver to Romania, and Gold for France.

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The Duchess took to the stage to cheers from the audience to introduce her husband: "Good evening everyone. We are so grateful to the Netherlands for welcoming us and for hosting the Invictus Games. For each time, my husband and I both recognize it's been a lot to get here."

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In Sydney 2018, Meghan spoke about the Invictus family. Tonight she echoed that sentiment whilst paying tribute to Team Ukraine "who we're all standing with". Meghan said 'Slava Ukraini' (Glory to Ukraine).

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Meghan continued: "One thing I know for sure is that every single moment it has taken to get here will be worth it. It is here at the Invictus Games we honour your years of active duty on the field and your continued service to your country, your family and to the community off the field. Thank you so much for your service and thank you to all the friends and the family who are here supporting you along the way because this is service, this is dedication and this is the Invictus family.

"Now it is my distinguished honor to introduce someone that I think you’ll all be very excited to hear from. He has also spent many late nights and early mornings planning for these games to make them as perfect as possible for each of you. I could not love and respect him more, and I know that all of you feel the same, because he is your fellow veteran, having served two tours of duty in Afghanistan, and ten years of military service. He’s the founder of the Invictus Games, and the father to our two little ones, Archie and Lili.

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"Please welcome my incredible husband, Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex."

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The resounding applause as Harry took to the stage was incredible.

Deeply moved by his wife's words, an emotional Harry said, "Thank you, my love."

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And a kiss...

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Harry opened by telling veterans, "God I missed you."

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His thoughts were firmly with Ukraine and the courage of competitors: "Your bravery in choosing to come and for being here tonight cannot be overstated. You told me yesterday when you decided to join us despite all odds, you said you came to be on this global stage, not simply to show your strength, but to tell your truth. The truth of what is happening in your country, You know we stand with you, the world is united with you, and still, you deserve more. My hope is that this event creates the opportunity in how we as a global community can better show up for you.

"Tonight, I trust that you see what I see. The heart of the warrior beating strongly,  because to be role models, the role models that each of you are, it takes strength and it takes courage. When I talk to my son Archie about what he wants to be when he grows up - some days it's an astronaut, other days it's a pilot, a helicopter pilot obviously...or Quasi from Octonauts. If you're laughing then you've seen it.

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"What I remind him is that no matter what you want to be when you grow up, it's your character that matters most. And nothing would make his mum and me prouder than to see him have the character of what we see before us today. You. You as a community have overcome immense challenges and together you are healing and teaching the world as you go."

Meghan was visible moved when Harry spoke about Archie.

The Duchess selected an elegant ensemble for the evening.

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Meghan teamed a pair of tailored trousers with the Khaite Cerise off-the-shoulder knotted stretch-cotton jersey bodysuit. The piece is described as: "Khaite's 'Cerise' bodysuit has an artfully twisted front that beautifully drapes off-the-shoulder and creates an elegant fold-over back. It's cut from stretch-cotton jersey for a close fit." It's currently available at Net-A-Porter.

Meghan's gorgeous new shoes are the Manolo Blahnik Camparimesh Polka Dot Mary Jane pumps.

Meghan's statement necklace is Cartier's Collier Juste Un Clou.

Meghan wore her Cartier Love bracelet.


And the late Princess Diana's diamond tennis bracelet.


Meghan accessorised with her Lorraine Schwartz earrings (worn several times including Trooping The Colour 2019) and debuted a new statement ring. 


A special thank you to UFO No More for their work today.

If you missed today's earlier post, please click here to catch up.


It was a fantastic opening ceremony, and it's going to be a tremendously exciting week. Tomorrow, Harry and Meghan will attend several events throughout the day. 

28 comments:

  1. Hi Charlotte, thanks for this up to date and exciting coverage. Any ID on Meghan's interesting-looking glass-like stud earrings worn during the speech?

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    1. Hello! They look very much like her Birks pair, I'm going to take a closer look at photos shortly and will update the post :)

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    2. Thank you for the earring ID!

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    3. You're very welcome :)

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  2. Prince Harry said, "Once served, always serving." The Veterans community has truly found for themselves a true champion in Prince Harry's dedication and support.

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  3. Thank you, I'm appreciative of your speedy response and the positive, clear and thorough coverage of Meghan at this event, it's so refreshing to read amongst the vindictive and hateful commentary in mainstream media that is too often directed at Meghan.

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    1. I've seen some vitriol already--only headlines as I never click on that sort of hate-bait. I don't understand how such a talented, beautiful, caring person triggers such responses except to wonder whether it isn't a legacy of patriarchal culture that wants all women silent and invisible.

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    2. I agree for your comment.
      Good question ❓

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  4. Any ID on the ring Meghan was wearing it was gorgeous

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    1. Not yet but I don't doubt one of the talented ladies on Twitter will ID it. I'll update as soon as I see the designer :)

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  5. I haven't written yet because I was just taking in all the wonderfulness. First, I was very glad to see that they visited his grandmother. I knew they would wait until she did not have her entire family and half of the European royals around. Glad they met with his father too. Harry said a while ago that he and Meghan zoomed with his grandparents so no worries there. Meghan's white outfit was a warm and chic power suit. I loved it. That later black jacket with jeans made her look cute and adorable. And she looked approachable but hot in the white top and pants for the opening ceremony. As always, she was a natural speaker. And the kiss was everything.

    I'm sure I do not appreciate the amount of work that went into this event -- this event is done because of Harry's passion. He and every participant deserve so much admiration. I especially enjoyed seeing the US government delegation; Buttigieg and Duckworth are two people I admire.

    This must have been so hard to do during the ongoing horrors in Ukraine. However, if any event should occur, this is the one.

    I am really enjoying Meghan's jewelry and hope the earrings can be identified. I'm thinking of the emerald-cut diamond studs she wore after Archie was born and then to The Lion King opening.

    Thank you for so much coverage -- I have read it all, several times. :)

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  6. πŸ’I am so proud of two lovely sincere, dedicated, passionate and courageous people Harry and Meghan. They are outspoken, loving and so outgoing... That's why we love them so much. Thank you CharlotteπŸ™πŸ‘

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  7. Thank you, Charlotte, for you wonderful coverage. I'm always warmed and lifted by Meghan and Harry. They radiate such energy, warmth and charisma. The very visible, palpable love between them seems to warm and lift all positive people.

    R

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  8. Charlotte, your coverage is absolutely the best. Thank you for all the excellent work you do on your blogs. I think Harry and Meghan so deserve to be a part of the invictus family- they too have overcome so much. They are showing they are invictus. I'm just thinking back to their wedding and "Stand by Me" and "This Little Light of Mine" was there anthems. I've thought about those two songs often when I have read about what is happening with them or what they are doing.

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  9. My favorite part of her ensemble was those Manolo Blahnik heels. Love those and together with everything else she looked stunning. Meghan is queen of the 'off the shoulder' fashion. It's a really great look for her.

    I'm glad to seeing her wearing pieces from her jewelry collection. Diana's tennis bracelet, the one PC gave her, the Cartier bracelet. The new Cartier necklace certainly gave her ensemble a modern look. Looking forward to seeing her earring choice (I first though Birks but emerald cut is also a possibility and the ring on her right hand).

    The ceremony is very moving and well done. I have no doubt that this twosome made everyone in the audience feel like a champion.

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  10. Thank you Charlotte for your coverage my go to about meghan covers everything explaining the events which is helpful and quick to know what's she is wearing with links and pictures!

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  11. Forgot to add, loved her choice of jewellery.

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  12. Event like this remind me not to give up when confronted with challenges. This is the real deal..... Invictus family. Harry suit look clean(well cut and fitted) and meghan look super sexy. God bless the invictus family

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  13. Meghan's bodysuit looks like Diana's one with this Testino's photoshoot:
    https://www.mariotestino.com/exhibitions/mario-testino/diana-princess-of-wales/

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    1. Indeed Kadry, well seenπŸ‘! It looks so similar that if someone tells me it's Diana's Legacy Bodysuit I'll believe it.It is really very beautiful and super elegant this bodysuit, and even passe-partout because I imagine it with lots of other pieces with which it would coordinate well.

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    2. Wow! Good memory. That photo shoot of Diana was magical.

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  14. Cuties!!! Wish we could see Archie, he sounds adorable but I totally understand the need to shield him and his sister from the spotlight. Looking forward to seeing the Sussexes today. Happy Easter everyone!

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  15. Thank you for this rundown. I saw in this pic she's wearing a knot-like ring. Can you tell what it is?
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FQgaljCWQAYAV22?format=jpg&name=large

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    1. Hello,

      No ID yet, it's a diamond trilogy style. I'll update if one emerges.

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    2. For Admin. Have you ever considered a thumbnail photo of Meghan for your Admin responses on the Mad About Meghan blog?

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  16. One of the tabloids has a closeup of the earrings and it looks those wonderful diamonds are in a setting of small diamonds, making the earrings appear even bigger and more sparkly. I am always more interested in jewelry than clothes!

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  17. This cream off shoulder blouse is exactly like Princess Diana’s had on the photo by Mario Testino for Vanity Fair (if I rememner correctly in 1996) with caption „She’s free of the restrictions. Certainly you can see that”. Fatnastic fashion statement by Meghan. She is a boss-lady. Love it!

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  18. Meghan looks just gorgeous and glamorous. this is one sexy couple. Loved to hear her introduce Harry and see how emotional he was too. He put so much work into these games and he is a true war hero. Thank you Charlotte for this fantastic coverage.

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Welcome to Mad About Meghan! We do so look forward to reading your thoughts. Constructive, fair debate is always encouraged. Hateful, derogatory terms and insults are not welcome here. This space focuses on Harry and Meghan, not any other member of the Royal family. It's not the place to discuss politics either. Thank you for reading, we look forward to your comments :)