Despite being bound by strict protocols and surrounded by palace aides, Prince Harry has proved once again just how humble he can be, especially in moments that matter.
Last Friday, as the Duke of Sussex scaled the Sydney Harbour Bridge, he was joined by a select few people who represent what the Invictus Games is all about, including ambassador Gwen Cherne, whose husband Peter Cafe served in Cambodia, Afghanistan and Iraq before taking his own life earlier this year.
After he and Gwen were photographed embracing each other during the climb, the mother-of-three revealed to People that she was talking to Harry about her experience with ‘grief and loss’ before being interrupted by palace aides attempting to hurry him along.
However, the Duke wasn’t having it and sternly told them, “I’m in the middle of a conversation, and I’m not going to leave this.”
The touching gesture was very much appreciated by Gwen, who said, “We were talking about my story and mental health and how difficult it is still, in our society, to talk about grief and loss and suicide.”
“And how important things like the Invictus Games are to shedding light on, and allowing people to start to have these conversations that are great to have.”
Gwen later added that she was humbled by her time with the Prince and grateful for the work that he does.
The Invictus Games is a true passion project for Harry and one he has devoted a fair amount of time to in the years since he founded it in 2014.
Speaking at the Opening Ceremony of the games on Saturday, Harry gave a moving speech about how the paralympic-style sporting event recognising defence force veterans, has grown over the years.
“Our Invictus Family has turned these Games into a symbol of strength, honour and optimism for a new generation.”
“I have a mission for all of you Aussies. And it’s not how many shrimps you can put on the barbie,” he joked.
“Our competitors have made it to these games, most of them travelling from many thousands of miles away. It’s your job to cheer them on and share their stories. It’s your privilege to watch in the stands or with your friends and families around the television.”
“Be inspired, allow the examples of service and determination you all see to change something big or small in your own lives. Show the world what ‘Game On Down Under’ really means.”