Sunday, 17 April 2022

The Invictus Games Day Two: Heroes, Hugs and a Special Interview

It was a fantastic time filled with amazing sporting talent, resilience, community, hugs and a special Easter event on the second official day of the Invictus Games 2022.

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The Duke and Duchess made their way to a number of Invictus Games Events today. It was a bright and sunny Easter Sunday in the Hague with an air of excitement as competition in several sports got underway.

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Today's event followed a moving Opening Ceremony last night. Prince Harry shared his hopes for Archie's future: "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. 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."

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The Duchess praised her husband's tireless work to make the games "perfect". Meghan told the cheering audience: "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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Harry and Meghan began by stopping trackside to cheer on athletics competitors.

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The couple with Italy's Carlo Calcagni. The honoured officer and multiple gold medal winning Paralympic cyclist, who suffers from various neurological problems and MCS (multiple chemical sensitivity). In 1996, while serving in the military, Carlo participated in the international peace mission in the Balkans, breathing heavy metal powders and, as a result, he became seriously ill and was diagnosed with a series of neurological problems.

Click here to watch a documentary about Carlo's life.

Harry and Meghan watching the volleyball competition.

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Harry and Meghan with Dave Henson.

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Dave has represented Britain at the Invictus Games, World and European Championships, and in 2016 was selected for the Summer Paralympics in Rio, winning a bronze medal in the 200m sprint. In 2011, Dave and his unit were clearing two compounds in the Nad-e Ali South area of Helmand Province when he stood on a hidden IED.

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Harry and Dave have been close for years and when the double amputee took Gold during Invictus Orlando, Harry exclaimed: "He's World Class!"

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Harry and Meghan cheer Team UK competitor Lisa Johnston.

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Former army medic Lisa from Doncaster had her left leg amputated and was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome after the injury which left her unable to hug her children. Speaking to the Yorkshire Post ahead of the games, she said: "Taking part in the Invictus Games is the next big chapter in my recovery. It shows my children that by trying my hardest to do the best I can, even as an amputee, that no matter what life throws at you, you can overcome it. With hard work and determination, kindness, compassion and understanding, you can achieve whatever you put your mind to. Most of all, I want my children to be proud."

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It was also the perfect opportunity to catch up with Invictus families.

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The couple were excited to meet a competitor's dog. 

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From there, Harry and Meghan separated for solo engagements, with Harry heading to the archery competition.

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He is thoroughly enjoying every second of the games.

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This lady was delighted to speak to Harry...

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...Prince Charming.

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At the heart of Invictus are deeply personal journeys. At age of 17, Ali got badly injured because of an attack on his brother. His brother was a translator for the American and British army. Now living in the Netherlands, and after ten years being separated from his beloved, they were reunited in the Hague.

The Evening Standard reports:

'The Duke of Sussex is “back with his own people” when he is at the Invictus Games, according to a war veteran friend.

The couple looked totally at ease as they watched the action next to Jaco Van Gass – a Paralympian gold medallist and former Invictus competitor who suffered life-changing injuries with the British Army.

The 35-year-old said it was “amazing” to see Harry and Meghan. He added it was “wonderful” to catch up with them and they were “friendly as ever”. He said Harry told him he is having a “really, really good time”.

Mr Van Gass said: “Invictus is his family, basically. There’s so many familiar faces that he’s not seen in a while, and again to all the nations, just to catch up with them again.

“He’s back with his own people, he’s back in an environment that he’s so natural in and that he cares about. I think that’s the most important thing – this great depth of care that he has for the games.”

Andrew Parsons, President of the Paralympics, said it was "fantastic" to spend the afternoon with Harry.

Meanwhile, Meghan joined a special Easter reading event at the British Embassy tent. Meghan told guests she was excited to meet the children as she's been missing Archie and Lili. Veteran James Stride told the Daily Mail: "She said she wanted to be with children as she's missing her own."

More from Harpers Bazaar:

'On April 17, Meghan ducked into the British Embassy tent to join a dozen kids and some of their moms as they listened to a reading of classic children’s book Hairy Maclary—a classic series she admitted to the group that she has read to her own children, Archie and Lilibet.

"We're going to be cheering you on all the way!" the duchess told members of Team Ukraine, who stopped for selfies and photographs with the royal couple. They also took time out to chat with athletes from Team Iraq before rushing over to pet a service dog from the Netherlands team. "Well I could just fall in love with you!" Meghan cooed as she stroked golden labrador, Castor, as Harry chatted to owner and veteran Eric Hartwich, who suffers from severe PTSD after being deployed to the frontlines of Bosnia in 2007.'

I want to share something incredibly sweet next. Last night after the Opening Ceremony, Prince Harry had a very important interview with two aspiring young journalists, Sophie and Jay, for the Netherlands-based De Kindercorrespondent -- a new digital outlet focused on making the voices of young people heard.

Asked about his wish for Archie and Lili, Harry said: "To grow up in a better world, a safer world, a more equal world, I will never, ever rest until I as a parents have tried to make the world a better place. We cannot steal your future." Harry praised the amazing "atmosphere" at the games adding, "Bring so many people together from around the world, so many kindred spirits, so many comrades in arms, people who have been struggling and suffering by themselves...bringing that energy together and bringing that pain together for one week. Then everyone leaves feeling more healed. That's what sport does. That's what community does. That's what human interaction does." Watch the interview below, and as Harry said, the duo were "fantastic". I promise you will enjoy it as much as I did :)

Meghan chose another stylish look today.

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The Duchess chose a structured white jacket by Brandon Maxwell. The Autumn/Winter 2022 belted piece is slim fit with a tall collar.


Meghan teamed it with jeans and her cognac Manolo Blahnik pumps.


The Duchess accessorized with Diana's Cartier Tank watch.

Cartier Love bracelet.

Meghan also wore the Bentley & Skinner tennis bracelet Charles gave her before the wedding.

The Duchess wore her Shiffon ring once again.

The Duchess also wore a moon and stars pendant (not ID'd yet) and her Valentino sunglasses.

For Meghan's later event at the British Embassy tent she sported a pinstripe blazer.


It could very well be Veronica Beard's Pinstripe Dickey Jacket in navy and white.

Harry and Meghan are attending another event this evening. I'll see you shortly with another post.

9 comments:

  1. I'm a great Brandon Maxwell fan and own two of his dresses, which I was lucky to snag at huge discounts. This is a gorgeous cream jacket, and I would have considered it if I didn't already own a few cream or white or ivory jackets in various styles. I think it's droolworthy.

    I also think that a dressed-up jeans look like this one is just right for the Invictus Games. The jacket is striking, especially in that eye-catching cream, but the overall look is polished but informal. A good choice. I felt much the same about the Duchess's jeans and Celine jacket/Chanel flats look the other day.

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  2. lovely...i'm completely melting.i feel all these emotions like i'm there with them. Admirable and beautiful Meghan who raises her husband Harry so much (he has become a very assertive and fulfilled man...) I think that's all
    what his late mother Diana wished for her youngest child...I miss words so much I am moved by seeing all these photos and the comments of our Charlotte, thank you very much

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  3. I just love seeing the Sussexes at events like these. These competitors are truly inspiring and we can never thank them enough for their service. The Duke has his mother's heart, he's special, the way he's able to connect with people is truly a gift, he's just so natural and genuine, truly a nice wholesome man. The Duchess is just as amazing as her husband, an amazingly strong self-made woman whose background allows for so many people who usually don't feel any type of connection with royals to be able to relate to a real-life princess. Long live the Sussexes! Sidenote (as a mother of two little ones myself): the Octonauts character that little Archie loves and that Harry was referencing in his speech is Kwazii :)

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  4. love the duke and duchess of Sussex seeinng their emotion higher its was amazing

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  5. “He’s back with his own people, he’s back in an environment that he’s so natural in and that he cares about. I think that’s the most important thing – this great depth of care that he has for the games.” Well said Mr Van Gass, a war veteran.

    The bear hugs from Prince Harry are quite amazing to watch.

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  6. just a beautiful post about a beautiful couple and the great work Harry has done for these games. thank you charlotte. meghan looks lovely too

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  7. This is just such a terrific event/cause, and I am basking in the warm glow of appreciation for H&M that even the usual offenders cannot abuse. I love that Meghan is dressing for herself -- and it would not surprise me if designers giver her free or discounted clothes. Maybe even jewelry? Thank you, Charlotte, for your Easter duty. You gave us so much!! I would love a jewelry-only wrap-up, I admit. One day, she wore two tennis bracelets, for example. And those diamonds+ earrings!

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  8. A tiny bit of jewellery information: an IG account "Meghan's Closet Chronicles" received confirmation that her earrings on this day are by LA-based designer Sarah Hendler. They were made a couple of years ago and they are custom-made for her.

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