The Invictus Games have come to a close!

Prince Harry’s emotional speech and all the star-studded details of the Invictus Games closing ceremony

It’s unbelievable that the 2023 Invictus Games are almost over. Wow, what a climax. The farewell ceremony was heartfelt, inspirational, and an overall masterful tribute to the week of inspiration. It was everything and more than expected.

There was nonstop whooping and cheering as each nation made its way onto the stage one by one. Daisy the sausage dog, whom Prince Harry had met earlier in the week, made her big screen debut and was photographed walking across the stage with her proud owner Martha Prinsloo. James Rogers, the captain of the British team, led the team. That dog needs an agent, in my opinion!


Prince Harry and Meghan with performers Rita Ora and Sam Ryder
Photo: Getty Images


Meghan was seen blowing kisses to the contestants as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex danced the night away. First up was a thrilling performance by Sam Ryder, the runner-up in Eurovision, complete with his famous bejeweled jumpsuit.

His high-pitched ballads and dulcet tones set the mood just right. While I sat there, looking down at all the champions who had accomplished incredible things in the last seven days, his inspirational lyrics felt even more relevant. I wish I could have preserved that particular moment forever.

A moving montage of contestants and their families playing was shown, and one participant gave the camera the perfect summary of the competition. “A lot of love is all that matters, regardless of who you are or what you own.”

Ukraine received a standing ovation from the entire arena during one particularly moving moment, and Federal President Frank Walter-Steinmeier dedicated his speech to the team with great emotion.


Harry first met Daisy the sausage dog earlier this week
Photo: Chris Jackson


Speaking on stage, Anna-Sophia Puzanov, who starred in Prince Harry’s Netflix series Heart of Invictus, discussed her mother Yuliia Paievska, who was imprisoned in Russia.Anna-Sophia exclaimed, “I’m so proud of her,” and her mother had even taken home a silver medal from the games this year.

It was a heartfelt speech by Prince Harry that came next. About the meeting, Master Corporal James Gendron spoke candidly. He addressed the crowd, saying, “Some of you may know what bagpipes mean to me, so I couldn’t help but hope they’d be played!”

The Prince looked at James in the crowd and went on, clearly moved. He announced to the arena, “Yesterday I met with Master Corporal James Gendron from the Canadian team in the Invictus 2025 tent.”

“I noticed bagpipes on the floor in the far corner while we were chatting. Since bagpipes hold special meaning for me—as some of you may know—I couldn’t resist hoping they would be played!


Prince Harry was visibly emotional during his speech
Photo: Getty Images


“I had no idea what they meant to James, but I had no idea that thirty minutes later, he would be picking them up and offering to play. I was also unaware of the memories they brought up for him. He performed at 63 ramp ceremonies in Afghanistan. for 63 coffins. 63 souls in all. for 63 households.

“After that final ceremony, he was unable to touch them for four years. He wasn’t sure if he could bring himself to play them this week. Well, he did. Dare I say it, what had once haunted him may now be the very thing that heals him. James, I appreciate your service, bravery, and sharing of your gift. There were a ton of amazing stories like this one.

As the last performer, Rita Ora uplifted everyone’s mood with six of her greatest hits. It was an incredible atmosphere, and it was amazing to watch everyone dance the night away together following a demanding sports week.


Meghan and Harry danced along to the incredible performances
Photo: Getty Images


Following such a poignant moment at the games, I’ve given careful thought to how hearing the indisputable thought-provoking stories has affected me. If I were to draw one major conclusion from my experience, it would be that, despite how many unpleasant days I may have in the future, I will make an effort to pause and express my gratitude for the opportunity. I say this because I have met a great deal of people who have experienced the darkest days imaginable and yet have found the inner strength to persevere and accomplish amazing things.

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