Thursday, 11 September 2014

Tears of a prince

He just about kept the tears at bay.  As Prince Harry officially opened the Invictus Games in London, his voice wobbled and then faded.  Loud applause rescued him, giving him the few moments he needed to compose himself.  But the prince had come very close to crying in public and while just a few years ago that might have been unthinkable, on September 10th 2014 it seemed completely natural.  Gone are the days of the stiff upper lip.  On an emotional night, when he watched hundreds of injured service men and women on the brink of fulfilling their sporting dreams in large part thanks to him, no one begrudged Prince Harry a few tears.

He had been close to tears throughout the event and seemed very emotional as his father led applause in his honour
(photo Clarence House)

The prince had already started to well up earlier in the evening when his father and his brother, along with the Duchess of Cornwall, joined in applause as wounded soldiers told him how grateful they were for the chance to complete in an event that has been Harry's brainchild from start to finish.  But as he made his three minute speech to officially begin the games, having been introduced by Michelle Obama, Harry looked as if was about to cry.  He held himself together, even if he did sound rather nervous at times, but as he ended his words by telling the competitors how inspirational they were he could barely hold back the tears.

'You prove that anything is possible.  Welcome to the Games.  Welcome to Invictus'
The closing words of Harry's speech were emotional for many at the opening event

Royal emotion is a difficult topic.  Sometimes, they are criticised for being too cold and on other occasions for being too friendly.  But despite the formality of the opening of Invictus, Harry's pride in his fellow servicemen and women was clear to see.  The tears just stayed hidden but the emotion was there for everyone to see.  And it only made Harry more popular and respected on a major evening in his royal life.

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