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Meghan says she 'could not love and respect' Harry more during Invictus Games ceremony
16 April 2022, 19:23 | Updated: 17 April 2022, 06:52
Meghan Markle expressed her support for the Ukraine team at the Invictus Games, as the Duke and Duchess made their grand entrance speech at the opening ceremony.
Harry founded the sports competition to help the rehabilitation of injured and sick military personnel.
The Duchess of Sussex said everyone is "standing with" the Ukraine team at the Invictus Games, as she addressed the opening ceremony in The Hague.
To huge applause, Meghan said: "Good evening everyone. We are so grateful to the Netherlands for welcoming us and for hosting the Invictus Games.
"For each team, my husband and I both recognise it's been a lot to get here, both physically and emotionally. Not least of which for the Ukraine team, who we are all standing with."
The Duchess paid tribute to the service and dedication of all those participating in this year's games.
Continuing: "One thing I know for sure is that every single moment it has taken to get here will be worth it, because it is here at the Invictus Games that we honour your years of active duty on the field and your continued service to your country, to your family and your community off the field.
"Thank you so much for your service and thank you to all the family and the friends that are here, who've been supporting you along the way. Because this is service, this is dedication and this is the Invictus family."
Introducing her "incredible husband", Meghan said she "could not love and respect him more".
She said: "It is my distinguished honour to introduce someone that I think you'll all be very excited to hear from.
"He has also spent many late nights and early mornings planning for these games to make them as perfect as possible for each of you.
"I could not love and respect him more and I know that all of you feel the same because he is your fellow veteran, having served two tours of duty in Afghanistan and 10 years of military service.
"He's the founder of the Invictus Games, and the father to our two little ones, Archie and Lili. Please welcome my incredible husband, Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex."
Harry paid tribute to the "boundless humility, the compassion and the friendship" of the Invictus Games.
He said: "I want to personally thank the people of the Netherlands for welcoming us with such warm Dutch hospitality.
"And thank you to the Dutch government, the Ministry of Defence and the Dutch royal family for their support in making this all happen after a two-year wait."
Expressing his admiration and "bravery" of Team Ukraine in choosing to attend the games he said: "Your bravery in choosing to come and for being here tonight cannot be overstated.
"You told me yesterday when 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.
"And my hope is that these events, this event, creates the opportunity in how we as a global community can better show up for you."
Harry told the crowd about his conversations with son Archie about what he wants to be when he grows up.
The duke said: "To be role models, or 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 Kwazii from Octonauts. If you're laughing then you've seen that.
"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 today."
Harry said those involved with Invictus have "overcome immense challenges", adding: "And together you are healing and teaching the world as you go."
It comes after the pair spent the day being taken for a spin by children in mini Land Rover vehicles at The Hauge.
The Duke of Sussex also took part in a driving challenge held by Jaguar Land Rover at the Invictus Games.
Meghan watched as he navigated a course of bridge structures, ramps and rocks.
The couple were dressed in casual clothes for the event on Saturday afternoon.
This story is being updated, more follows.