The Duke of Sussex on stage at the Opening Ceremony, there is a Tulip image and crowds of competitors in their seats

The speech of our Patron the Duke of Sussex at the Opening Ceremony of the Invictus Games The Hague 2020

Hello everybody and welcome to The Hague!


God I’ve missed you all! And people around the world have missed……this…

The boundless humility, compassion, and friendship that is…..INVICTUS.

I want to personally thank the people of the Netherlands for welcoming us all with such warm Dutch hospitality.

Thank you to the Dutch government, the Ministry of Defence and the Dutch Royal Family for the support in making this all happen after a two year wait.

The world needed to be reminded of the power of the human spirit, the ability to heal, and the strength of resilience, that allows us to recover, and come back stronger.

And we’re doing it here, in this moment, in The Hague, on the shores of Global Justice and peace – and it could not be more fitting for the message we have for the world.

Your stories inspire people to believe in themselves.

Your actions prove the impossible is in fact possible.

And your continued service encourages others to give back and serve in their own way.

With whatever you carry, with whatever may weigh you down, it is here at the Invictus Games that you realise it wasn’t a weight after all – it was the springboard that propelled you to the next level. To being the best version of yourself. The version of yourself that you missed, that your spouses missed, that your parents and your kids missed.

Well…..Welcome back!

YOU are back.

You are part of the Invictus family and we not only respect and salute you….

We SEE you.

Look no further than our representation from Team Ukraine. Your bravery in choosing to come, and for being here tonight, cannot be overstated.

You told me yesterday why you decided to join us, despite all odds. You said, You came to be on this global stage, not simply to show your strength, but to tell your truth – the truth, of what is happening in your country.

You know we stand with you. The world is united with you. And still you deserve more. My hope is that this event creates opportunities of how we as a global community can better show up for you.

So tonight, I trust that you all see what I see – the heart of the warrior beating strongly – because to be the role models that each of you are, takes strength and it takes courage.

When I talk to my son, Archie, about what he wants to be when he grows up, some days it’s an astronaut. Other days it’s a pilot. A helicopter pilot obviously. Or Quasi….from Octonauts…..

But what I remind him is that no matter what you want to be when you grow up, it’s your character that matters most.

And nothing would make his mum and me prouder than to see him have the character of what we see before us: YOU.

You as a community have overcome immense challenges, and together, you are healing and teaching the world as you go.

And you as individuals are people of substance, of resilience, of strength, and of heart. You have the heart of Invictus.

Your collective stories will be woven into the history books, and for that we thank you. We thank you for cementing in us the unwavering knowing that with courage, you can overcome anything.

So, INVICTUS, are you ready?

I said are you ready?!

There it is!

Bring on the games! Have fun!

Closing us out, please welcome back the Kaiser Chiefs

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