Prince Harry announces first big project since royal split

Prince Harry has launched a new fitness project aimed at getting servicemen and woman to manage their mental health.

The 35-year-old royal kickstarted a new initiative named HeadFIT on Monday, which is an online platform designed to provide UK military personnel with 24/7 access to mental healthcare and advice.

Prince Harry has announced a new initiative named HeadFIT. Photo: Getty Images

And in a video accompanying the launch of the project, Harry stressed the importance of training the "mind and body as one".

"Today, when we talk about fitness, we don't just mean how fast you can run or how much weight you can carry. This is about mental fitness, strength and resilience, not just while wearing a uniform, but for the rest of your life,” he said.

"If you want to be truly fit, strong and healthy, you need to train your mind and body as one. Some people run, others swim, cycle or lift weights in order to be physically fit. But what do you do to stay mentally fit? Think about what you can do to unlock your potential, and to perform the highest level."

HeadFIT was created by The Royal Foundation's mental health campaign Heads Together, which was launched by Harry, his brother Prince William, and William's wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, in 2016.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle first announced the project in October 2017. Photo: Getty Images

The project was first announced by Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, in October 2017, and has since been in development in association with the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) and leading mental health experts at Kings College London.

"HeadFIT has been almost three years in the making, and I am extremely grateful for everyone who has been on this journey with us,” Harry added in a statement.

"Everyone who has worked on it, to create what we have today, should be incredibly proud and excited for the impact it will have."

And the royal went on to explain his ultimate goal for HeadFIT, which he hopes will see military personnel become "the best [they] can be".

"I've long believed the military community should lead the way for the rest of society. For too long we have been waiting for problems to arise and then reacting to them. HeadFIT is a proactive approach to mental fitness, focusing on our own potential to increase our performance, using proven methods in sport science,” he said.

"This is about optimisation of self. This is about being the best you can be. This is about gaining an advantage, whether facing an opponent or overcoming a challenging situation. This is about building resilience that will match that of most world class athletes and prepare you for everyday stress. To be HeadFIT, is to be at your peak performance."

Prince Harry is also the founder of the Invictus Games. Photo: Getty Images

Prince Harry is also the founder of the Invictus Games, which has been cancelled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 2020 games were due to be held in May in The Hague, Netherlands, but following the outbreak of the virus - which is also known as COVID-19 - Harry has decided to cancel the event until next year's games.

In a video message shared to the competitors of the 2020 Invictus Games, Prince Harry said: “This decision was the most sensible - and safest - option for all of you, for your family and everyone else involved in these games.

“I know how disappointed you all must be. This is a focus that so many of you need. I would encourage you maintain that focus as best as you can. The good thing is you have an extra 12 or so months to be even fitter, to get even fitter than you already are, to be at your absolute top mental and physical fitness.”

Reporting by Bang Showbiz

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