The House of Windsor’s loss is the Invictus Games’ gain.
One of the first “unroyal” acts that Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, did after cutting his ties with the British monarchy was to announce on January 19 (London time) that the 2022 edition of the Invictus Games will be held in Dusseldorf, Germany.
In 2014, the prince founded the Games that during the launch in the same year in the British capital he said would “demonstrate the power of sport to inspire recovery support rehabilitation and [also] demonstrate life beyond disability.”
Also during the unveiling of the tournament, he pointed out that the “long-term objective was to ensure that injured troops are not forgotten as Britain’s involvement with the war in Afghanistan comes to an end.”
Prince Harry, at the time of that war, was a fighter pilot in Afghanistan, a role that must have given his grandmother–Queen Elizabeth–the fits because royal watchers did not rule out the real possibility that the prince could be kidnapped by the Taliban and later be used by the latter as a bargaining chip by the terrorist group for what only God knows.
The Invictus Games is an “internationally adaptive event… in which wounded, injured or sick armed service personnel and their associated veterans take part in sports including wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball and indoor rowing.”
A country has to be invited before it can participate in the event, which is held every two years, except that there was a championship in 2017 in Ontario, Canada, after London, 2014, and the United States, 2016 (the Philippines has not taken part in the tourney).
The Games was hosted by Sydney, Australia, in 2018, with The Hague, The Netherlands, holding it in 2020.
Apparently, the Duke of Sussex, 35, is already having busy days this early, or just a maybe a week after Buckingham Palace also announced that the prince and his wife–the former “Suits” American television star Megan Markle, 38, “will no longer be working members of Britain’s monarchy and they will pay their own way in life as they embark on an independent future.”
The prince and Meghan will also no longer use their “Royal Highness” titles.
During Prince Harry’s announcement that Dusseldorf is it in 2022, he said he wanted a “more peaceful life.”
“Invictus” means “unconquered” or “undefeated.”
Perhaps, those who are aspiring to join the Invictus Games would be inspired by the single act of the prince of trading his privileged life for a “normal”one and partly, we would like to believe, for sports in general.