Prince Harry shares the story behind what he describes as one of the worst speeches he’s ever given

He may be a pro at public speaking, but even Prince Harry isn't immune to a few nerves.
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September 10th, 2014 marked the opening ceremony of the very first Invictus Games, held in London, this year celebrating its fifth anniversary with the fifth games set to be held in The Hague in The Netherlands in 2020.

To mark the anniversary of the Invictus Games Foundation, which Prince Harry created, he took to Instagram to reflect on the Invictus Games over the past five years, including what he describes as the worst speech he’s ever given.

Fresh-faced Prince Harry at the 2014 Invictus Games in London. (Image: Getty)

In a video posted to @sussexroyal Prince Harry was asked how he had felt on Day 1 of the first Invictus Games with which he replied, “Nerves – nerves about everything, the whole planning, whether it was going to come together, whether people would turn up, whether they were going to fill seats.

“And the weather,” he added, “because the opening ceremony was outdoors and selfishly I guess, my speech.

“On the actual night, the lectern or the podium was in front of all of the competitors so I could just see all of their faces and they started chanting and I was so nervous, I was shaking. I knew I had a certain window to be able to get my words out and we were also running behind so, I rushed it – and it was probably one of the worst speeches I’ve ever given,” he laughs.

The non-profit Invictus Games Foundation was founded by Prince Harry in 2014, which he was inspired to create after seeing the power of sport in recovery while visiting the Warrior Games in the United States.

Having served in the military for 10 years himself and undertaking two tours to Afghanistan, it is clear supporting former servicemen and women is something that is incredibly important to him.

The games have made it possible for thousands of wounded and injured servicemen and women to use the power of sport to rehabilitate themselves and those around them, while inspiring people from all over the world, with the games having now been hosted in London, Orlando, Toronto (where he and Meghan Markle made their first official public appearance as a couple) and Sydney.

“Thank you to everyone who has played a part in the Invictus movement,” Harry said in a statement.

“From the competitors and your families, to the thousands of volunteers and supporters – you have all guarded the Invictus spirit, while creating a wider understanding and respect for those who serve their country at home or abroad.

“Thank you for the inspiration, thank you for the laughs and thank you for the memories!”

Adding, “I’m so proud of everything we’ve achieved together. Once served always serving!”

The Invictus Games in Toronto also happened to be the first time Harry and Meghan stepped out together publicly as a couple. (Image: Getty)

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex also took the time to acknowledge World Suicide Prevention Day on @sussexroyal, wanting to spread the available support “far and wide to ensure that no-one goes through a crisis alone.”

The couple shared links to organisation across the UK including PANDAS Foundation, a charity supporting families coping with pre and postnatal mental illness; The Trevor Project, an organisation which provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention service to LGBTQ+ youth; SAVE; Samaritans Charity; The Jed Foundation; Childline and CALM.

The couple also included Shout UK, a 24/7 text helpline initiative the couple helped to launch with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in May this year.

On Monday Prince William helped to launch a new partnership between Shout UK and the emergency services blue light community, which coincided with 999 Day, a day to celebrate and give thanks to the invaluable work that is carried out by the emergency services and responders.

Shout UK will now provide 24/7 crisis text support to frontline emergency services communities, retired or serving, and their families across the UK.

Shout UK is an extension of the Royal Foundation’s Heads Together campaign, a campaign spearheaded by the Cambridges and the Sussexes to tackle the stigma surrounding mental health.

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