It seems all royal protocol goes out the window during group photos.
The Duke of Sussex was on-hand on Tuesday to meet with the Invictus Games' UK team who will compete in the 2020 games. Established back in 2013 by Prince Harry, the games shine light on how sport can help in the rehabilitation, both socially and physically, of those suffering from illness and injuries.
“These Games have shone a spotlight on the ‘unconquerable’ character of servicemen and women, their families and the ‘invictus’ spirit," said the duke about the incredible work of the organization. "These Games have been about seeing guys sprinting for the finish line and then turning round to clap the last man in. They have been about teammates choosing to cross the line together, not wanting to come second, but not wanting the other guys to either. These Games have shown the very best of the human spirit.”
Harry helped announce the 65 members of the new team at this week's event, who will compete at The Hague next year, and posed for multiple group photos. One group shot went awry, however, when competitor Lynsey Kelly's hands slipped from around the duke's waist and accidentally hit his bottom.
"Oh no, my hand's just stuck on Prince Harry's bottom!" she exclaimed about the encounter, which was caught on video. Prince Harry joked back, "It's almost in my pocket!"
Kelly later opened up to The Daily Mail about the impact the games, which bring together wounded servicemen and women, have had on her wellbeing. "I have been really quite poorly with my mental and physical health but this experience, clichéd as it sounds, has already actually changed my life," she said.
She continued, "It has made me realize that I am still worthy and I am deserving. My motto has become: if I can do this, anyone can do this."
After seeing firsthand how the power of sport brought people together at Colorado's Warrior Games in 2013, Prince Harry devised a plan. Five years later, the annual competition brings together 500 competitors from 19 different countries for a week-long competition in 10 different sports. The first games were held back in 2014 in London, and have since been conducted across the world, from Orlando to Sydney, each year after.
The duke took the opportunity recently to reflect on how the organization has evolved since its inception:
"In the last five years, these guys have completely changed how we view disability, how we view mental health. This is all them. We merely created a platform in order for them to shine and it’s genuinely been one of the greatest honours of my life to get to know all you guys and to see you through this process. We’ve had some laughs, we’ve had some tears, and I can’t ever thank you enough for the impact that you have had across the world, to be able to create better understanding for those people who put the uniform on. "
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