The Invictus Games officially kicked off on Saturday after two years of delays due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Duchess of Sussex took to the stage first, praising Team Ukraine and their incredible journey to The Hague, prior to introducing her husband.
“One thing I know for sure is that every single moment it has taken to get here will be worth it,” Meghan said in her speech. “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 these games to make them as perfect as possible for each of you,” she continued.
“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 10 years of military service.”
“He’s the founder of the Invictus Games, and the father of our two little ones, Archie and Lili,” Meghan said with a smile as the crowd began to clap. “Please welcome my incredible husband, Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex.”
As Harry made his way to the stage, he received a standing ovation from the attendees. Like Meghan, he also praised Team Ukraine.
“Your bravery in choosing to come and for being here tonight cannot be overstated,” the Duke of Sussex said. “You told me yesterday when you decided to join us against 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,” Harry continued. “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,” the prince said as the crowd cheered.
The ceremonies for the fifth official games were attended by the 17 participating countries, an estimated 500 participants, as well as dignitaries like Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
The lively program included the Dutch Armed Forces drumming for the countries as they entered the stadium, a poetry reading by the 12-year-old child of a Dutch Invictus Games participant, a welcome speech from Rutte, as well as various choreographed performances and musical numbers.
The Duke of Sussex met with winners onstage during the first medal ceremony of the games, before taking the stage again after the Duchess of Sussex introduced him toward the end of the function.
As the ceremony drew to a close, the Kaiser Chiefs performed and played two of the band’s biggest hits, “Ruby” and “I Predict a Riot.”
Prior to the ceremony, the Sussexes attended the Jaguar Land Rover driving challenge, where they interacted with participants and even took a ride with some youngsters for an event of their own.
The Duke of Sussex founded the games, which are a Paralympic-style event for wounded service people and veterans, in 2014.