Prince Harry praised the US military veteran athletes who competed in the annual Warrior Games, telling them that their recoveries can inspire their fellow service members. The Duke of Sussex, whose 37th birthday is tomorrow, was speaking at a ‘Virtual Event to Honour Warrior Games Athletes’, where he was joined by US First Lady Dr Jill Biden, US secretary of defence Lloyd Austin and Ken Fisher, CEO of Fisher House Foundation. Both Harry and Dr Biden, who have struck up a friendship over the years, had been scheduled to attend this year’s Warrior Games, an annual sporting event that celebrates “the resiliency and dedication of wounded, ill, and injured active duty and veteran U.S. military Service members”.
The Games had been set to begin in Orlando, Florida this week before they were cancelled due to coronavirus concerns.
Addressing those who would have competed this year, Prince Harry expressed his “immense gratitude” for their service, adding: “It’s not just about yourselves and your families, but you have to remember that you’re doing this also for your brothers and sisters-in-arms, and those people that are in a really dark place.
“You know what it’s like, you’ve been there yourselves, and you have recovered for yourself.
“Now you’re leading them to their own recovery, so for that, I thank you.”
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Prince Harry, who served two tours of duty in Afghanistan, founded the Invictus Games for wounded former military personnel in 2014 after being inspired by a visit to the Warrior Games.
Prince Harry continued: “The Invictus Games never would have been created had I not been inspired by every single one of you, and your companions and families, for everything that you give to the service of your country.”
A body language specialist, Judi James, analysed Prince Harry in the video clip which was released of him speaking with Dr Biden.
She spoke to Express.co.uk about Prince Harry’s body language and how he appeared on camera.
Judi said: “This is probably Harry doing what he does best in the best way: not speaking in the style of a planet Hollywood guru and not set up to look like a royal in exile, but using several non-verbal techniques that look aimed at lowering his status levels while allowing him to ‘come through the screen’ and talk to the audience in a more personal way.
“Harry’s style here is more casual than we’ve seen recently and the verbal fillers like ‘um’ that occur frequently give him a humbler look, as does the rather shiny forehead that suggests some nerves.
“He sits low in his chair and his elbows appear to be propped onto a desk.
“This body and head-lowering will signal a lowering of his perceived status levels.
“His eye-falter, looking to the screen then down, looks modest and, again, slightly nervous.
“He performs another eye cut-off as he addressed Jill Biden as ‘Dr Biden’ as though noting her newly-elevated status.
“Speaking about ‘when we met’ though his right eyebrow raises in what looks like a nod to her of their ongoing friendship.
“He performs a head shake of regret and looks down as he says he is ‘So sorry we’re not altogether’ to his audience but then he launches into praise for the competitors, adding comments about mental health that he seems to address using empathy.
“There is a curious change in the set-up of this appearance. Harry and Meghan’s video calls have previously looked well produced and professionally lit and framed, very much like Jill Biden’s appearance here.
“They seem to have access to all the right props and settings but for some reason, Harry has opted for something a lot less professional here.
“He sits with the light behind him, both from a window and from a standard lamp, meaning he is thrown into silhouette, making it hard to see him properly.
“Was this less professional look deliberate, or did he just pop into a different room to make his call without thinking?
“The result is more ‘regular guy’ looking in tone, meaning he might have deliberately planned to avoid distancing himself from the military men and women in his audience.”
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