Prince Harry Delivers Emotional Speech About Mental Health Struggles At Invictus Games Closing Ceremony: ‘I’ve Been There’

Prince Harry closed out the Invictus Games in Sydney with an emotional speech during the 2018 games’ closing ceremony.

The 34-year-old prince was preceded by wife Meghan Markle, who delivered an unexpected speech ahead of her husband’s remarks.

“It’s such an honour to be here tonight with all of you and supporting my husband at the Invictus Games, which he founded four years ago,” she said. “In a short span of time, the games have evolved into an international platform of some of the best athletics and sportsmanship you could ever witness, coupled with a camaraderie and close-knit community, which can only be defined as the Invictus spirit.”

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The Duchess of Sussex spoke of her own personal experiences visiting military bases, where she “was given a very special glimpse into the lives of those who serve our countries. ​I was able to see the unshakable bonds between service men and women on the ground together, but at the same time to feel the palpable longing for family and friends while deployed.”

When it was Harry’s turn to take to the stage, he offered his thanks, particularly to the athletes who competed in the games.

“You have once again left us humbled and inspired by your example, by your determination, by your service and by your sense of humour,” said Harry in his speech.

“In a world where negativity is given too much of a platform, our Invictus competitors — many of whom have been given a second chance at life — are achieving extraordinary things,” the prince continued.

“They get called heroes. They’re tagged as legends. They’re referred to as super-humans. Now, of course, all those things are true! Right? Well, I believe, that the real power of their example is that they are not superheroes. Sorry to break it to you guys!” he joked.

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“What they are achieving isn’t impossible nor is it magical. You have seen it happen before your very eyes because these competitors have made it happen. They are men and women who have confronted a challenge and overcome it. They are ordinary people doing extraordinary things… That is something we can all aspire to,” he continued.

“Nowhere is that truer than in the area of mental health,” said Harry. “By simply being here and fighting back from some of the darkest experiences known to anyone, you have become role models for everyone at home or in the stands who might be struggling with their emotions or with a mental illness. For that friend or comrade you know who is unable to open up about their struggles. For that man or woman who has watched on television, you are proving that it’s OK to talk about how we feel. To girls and boys who see you speaking openly about anxiety, stress, and depression, you are showing it’s OK not to be OK. And most importantly, you are showing us all that it’s OK to ask for help.”

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Reflecting on his own struggles, Harry concluded: “I’ve been there, you’ve been there, and we now need to reach out to those who can never even imagine themselves in that place. When you accept a challenge is real, you can have hope. When you understand your vulnerability, you can become strong. When you are brave enough to ask for help, you can be lifted up. You can start living, doing, feeling — not simply surviving.”

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