Prince Harry has closed the Dusseldorf Invictus Games with a speech that some have interpreted as a veiled dig at the British royal family.
Harry told the audience of competitors – comprising injuries military personnel –
“A week ago I stood here and told you about the significance of being able to wear your nations flag again.
“So many of you have told me that hit you right here. For many of you the uniform you’ve been wearing this past week will give you a new story to tell.
“And for others it may give your old uniform new meaning.
“But I’m here to remind you that after all of this, you don’t need to rely on a uniform, nor should you feel lost without one. Because everything you need is already within you.”
Keen-eyed observers in the UK media have interpreted his words as a subtle dig at the Royal Family’s decision to not allow Harry to wear his military uniform at either his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral in September 2022, or at his father King Charles Coronation in May this year.
A veteran of two tours of Afghanistan during his decade in the British Army, Harry was reported to be distressed by the decision to ban him from wearing his ceremonial military uniform because he is no longer a working royal.
At his grandfather’s funeral in April 2022, Harry joined other male royals in wearing morning suits, and he was permitted to wear his Blues and Royals No 1 Uniform and medals for a vigil for his grandmother at Westminster Hall in London.
He was stripped of his military titles including Captain General of the Royal Marines when he and his wife Meghan stepped back from royal life, and moved away from the UK.
This is the 6th outing of the Invictus Games, the event and organisation founded by Harry in 2014 to support injured veterans. He wrote in his memoir Spare that he was inspired to create the event when he was travelling home from his own tour of Afghanistan, and shared the plane with injured personnel returning home.