If you haven’t checked out the Kensington Royal Instagram lately, I would suggest doing so – go here to see. KP has been posting some lovely photos of Harry enjoying himself in Orlando, Florida at the Invictus Games. Harry isn’t just there to support Team Britain – he’s been spending a lot of time with the American, Australian and New Zealand teams and beyond. Joe and Jill Biden are there, and he’s been hanging out with them too. And he’s been kissing babies and handing out medals and generally being lovely and sweet and kind. I’m including some of those photos, but mainly I wanted to talk about Harry and an American girl name Elizabeth Marks. Unfortunately, Marks is already married! Which is sad because she’s absolutely perfect for Harry and this is exactly the kind of woman he needs to be with.
Just call him Prince Charming! Prince Harry set the internet abuzz after he charmed a champion swimmer at the Invictus Games as he awarded her a gold medal on Wednesday night – and the U.S. Army soldier gave it right back to him. But all is not as it seems. Sergeant Elizabeth Marks, a (happily married) 25-year-old from Arizona, wants Harry to give her medal for the 100-meter freestyle to Papworth Hospital in England – as a thanks for saving her life two years ago.
Just before the first Invictus Games of 2014, Sgt. Marks became ill with a serious lung condition and had to be put into an induced coma in London. She told reporters of her ordeal: “I landed in London and became very ill very rapidly, I was in hospital in London and went into respiratory distress syndrome, they shipped a team down from Papworth who put me on to ECMO [extracorporeal membrane oxygenation] life support and that ultimately saved my life. And when they did so I was on it for 10 days and ended up waking in an army hospital in Germany having no idea what had happened. But they absolutely saved my life and I can’t thank the UK enough for having that kind of medical support and taking such good care of me. So I gave Prince Harry one of my medals and hope it will find its way back to Papworth.”
Like most hospitals in the U.K., Papworth is part of the publicly-funded National Health Service and she praised the care she received: “Thank you, I’ll never be able to repay you, but what you’re doing is wonderful.”
Sgt. Marks has been in the U.S. Army since she was 17. She suffered a serious hip injury in 2010 which left her with no sensation in her left leg but she fought back to fitness and still serves in the military.
And she’s an ace sportswoman. She netted gold in all four swimming events she entered at the Invictus Games in Orlando this week. “It’s just an honor to be here and stand next to all the other soldiers, I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be,” she added.
This story moved me to tears. She gave back her medal to help other people. Dear Harry: you need to be wife-hunting at the Invictus Games. These are your people. This is your dating pool.
Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet, Getty.