Prince Harry launches a new international sporting event for ill or wounded servicemen, saying the 'Invictus Games' will help "demonstrate the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and demonstrate life beyond disability".
Prince Harry launched an inspirational Paralympic-style sporting event for injured servicemen and women today in typical hands-on style. After giving a speech to officially unveil the Invictus Games, the fourth in line to the throne got down on the floor for a game of volleyball with military personnel who had lost multiple limbs in Afghanistan and other international conflicts. Harry has been working to bring the event to the UK after flying to the US last year to see members of Britain's Armed Forces taking part in a similar competition, the Warrior Games.
At the official launch held in the Copper Box arena at the former Olympic Park in London the prince declared the competition would ‘have a long-lasting impact’ on those who fought for their country. And joking about his inspiration, he said the Warrior Games competition was ‘such a good idea by the Americans that it had to be stolen’. Harry said: ‘I have witnessed first-hand how the power of sport can positively impact the lives of wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women in their journey of recovery.
Harry, 29, gave a speech to 12,000 students at the inaugural U.K. event benefitting Free the Children, an international charity working to engage and empower young people to work together towards ending poverty. He admitted to being "incredibly nervous" to address his young audience, then quipped, "If you were expecting Harry Styles, I apologize. And no, I'm not going to sing."
He was dressed casually for his speech at London's Wembley arena, wearing jeans, sneakers and a flannel shirt. He praised Free the Children as a "fantastic organization," telling the students there he knew how "children have the power to affect change." Cress, 25, also kept her look low-key for the function, wearing Converse sneakers, jeans and a black top and jacket. She and Harry made separate entrances but reunited inside at seats in the VIP section.
Prince Harry completed a 208-mile trek to the South Pole in December, traveling with a team of injured English servicemen and women, and now he's continuing his do-gooding efforts, visiting a crew of wounded ex-servicemen who successfully rowed across the Atlantic.
The redheaded royal met with the four-man team during a visit to Oxfordshire, according to BBC. The servicemen completed the 3,000-mile journey in December with the support of the charity Row2Recovery. According to reports, Harry congratulated the men and was given a tour of the town's Row and River Museum. He also was given an indoor rowing demonstration and is said to be spearheading an effort to get more service personal to participate in the sport.
"Today has been a great success," Paddy Nicoll, chairman of the River and Rowing Museum Trustees, said. "It has been a real privilege having the prince here for Henley, the museum and the charity. He was most interested in how wounded military personnel were integrating into the Row2Recovery programme." Former military medic Rory Mackenzie, who rowed across the Atlantic with Row2Recovery in 2011, added that Harry's visit put "the seal of approval on what we are trying to achieve."
HONOUR: Prince Harry hands over medals to members of the Row2Recovery crew [PA]
The Prince led a team of wounded service men and women as they took part in the Walking With the Wounded South Pole Allied Challenge 2013. ITV filmed a two-part documentary which delved into the stories of the soldiers as well as charting their progress.
"Look how cool it is, it's amazing," Harry says in the video. "It's ridiculous that a place like this should exist. One of the few places on earth that hasn't been screwed up by humans." Ahead of the expedition, the Prince admitted that he was scared of taking on such a huge challenge: “I’m terrified for myself to be honest, hugely daunted, so I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s going to be like for them.
"And you know to take a double amputee to the South Pole it’s really going to be really quite a moving moment when we get there. For me, it’s bigger than just these guys, we are trying to raise money but also raise awareness for the fact that the injuries they have sustained they are going to carry for the rest of their lives.”
* The first of the two episodes of Harry's South Pole Heroes airs on ITV, Sunday March 16, at 8pm
Prince Harry's girlfriend Cressida Bonas is related to former Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill, it has been claimed. The dancer and socialite, 25, has been revealed as the war time leader's first cousin three times removed as research shows her maternal second great grandmother, Lady Georgiana Spencer-Churchill, was Winston Churchill's aunt. Miss Bonas' aristocratic roots are well-documented, with a large number of senior politicians in her family tree, but this is believed to be the first time she has been directly linked to Churchill
Good company: Cressida Bonas' maternal second great grandmother, Lady Georgiana Spencer-Churchill, was Winston Churchill's aunt. Miss Bonas is believed to have been in a relationship with Prince Harry since 2012
As well as Britain's cigar-smoking leading during the Second World War, Miss Bonas is directly related to the famous Dukes of Marlborough, who can trace their aristocratic roots back to Winston Churchill's heroic Royalist namesake during the English Civil War. She is also directly related to William Cosby, who was made the Royal Governor of New Jersey and New York by George II in 1732, according to The Sun.
Sir Winston Churchill was Prime Minister from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the 20th century
Another relative is Augustus Henry FitzRoy, 3rd Duke of Grafton, who was Prime Minister for 15 years from 1768. Miss Bonas' is also famously the great-granddaughter of Francis Curzon, 5th Earl Howe - the aristocratic racing driver who won the 1931 Le Mans 24-hour race. 'You'd expect Prince Harry to keep good company and Cressida Bonas is no exception,' a spokesman for Ancestry.co.uk told the newspaper. 'With everything from Prime Ministers to colonial governors in her bloodline, she shouldn't feel too out of place in the palace should Harry pop the question,' they added. Miss Bonas accompanied Prince Harry on an official engagement for the first time last week, prompting speculation the couple may be about to get engaged.
Cressida Bonas in related to Sir Winston Churchill via their mutual ancestor - Lady Georgiana Elizabeth Spencer-Churchill. This makes them first cousins, three times removed