Prince Harry told Invictus veterans: ‘You don’t need to rely on a uniform’

I mentioned this in a post on Sunday, but it’s a real headline and a stand-alone story. Remember when Prince Philip passed away and there was a lot of bullsh-t about how Prince Harry was “banned” from wearing a uniform, only it looked awful so QEII just banned everyone from wearing uniforms? Good times. Then QEII passed away, and once again, a veteran of a foreign war was banned from wearing his uniform to almost all of the funeral events during that week, all while Harry’s relatives wore all of their fancy, unearned uniforms and medals. King Charles thought it was a good look, when really, Harry was the one who looked like a king. Well, in his Closing Ceremony speech, Harry spoke to the veterans who were now wearing their Invictus team uniforms and not their military uniforms:

Prince Harry has closed the Dusseldorf Invictus Games with a speech that some have interpreted as a veiled dig at the British royal family. Harry told the audience of competitors – comprising injuries military personnel:

“A week ago I stood here and told you about the significance of being able to wear your nations flag again. So many of you have told me that hit you right here. For many of you the uniform you’ve been wearing this past week will give you a new story to tell. And for others it may give your old uniform new meaning. But I’m here to remind you that after all of this, you don’t need to rely on a uniform, nor should you feel lost without one. Because everything you need is already within you.”

Keen-eyed observers in the UK media have interpreted his words as a subtle dig at the Royal Family’s decision to not allow Harry to wear his military uniform at either his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral in September 2022, or at his father King Charles Coronation in May this year. A veteran of two tours of Afghanistan during his decade in the British Army, Harry was reported to be distressed by the decision to ban him from wearing his ceremonial military uniform because he is no longer a working royal.

[From Deadline]

It wasn’t a “veiled dig,” it was an open criticism of his trash family. Besides that, it was also a profound message to every single Invictus competitor – Harry loved serving in the armed forces, as did every Invictus competitor. All of those veterans went through an identity crisis when they tried to phase back into civilian life. Harry was saying: it’s not the uniform, it’s what is already inside you, it’s your service, it’s who you are.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images.

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54 Responses to “Prince Harry told Invictus veterans: ‘You don’t need to rely on a uniform’”

  1. RoyalCommoner says:

    That was brilliant shade. Bravo

    • Yvette says:

      That “dig at the Royal Family” line piqued my curiosity so I looked up the author of the “Deadline” article. She’s a former British commentator and writes mostly International News articles for Deadline.

      I don’t think Harry meant it as a dig at all but rather as a heart-felt share with his Veteran brothers and sisters. Now watch the British tabloids and royal rota run with this story as a “dig at the Royal Family”. Next, William will be incandescent with rage over Harry publicly making a dig at the royal family because he wasn’t allowed to wear his uniform at Queen Elizabeth’s funeral.

      But as I recall, Prince Harry wasn’t bothered about it at the time and wanted the attention on his grandmother rather than on him because (and this is what I took from his comment after the public outcry over the decision to ban him from wearing his uniform) — the uniform doesn’t define him or make him a soldier/veteran, his experience does.

      • PeasantRoyal says:

        I agree the statement was heartfelt and sincere. But those are his chosen words and it is true that he is more than his uniform. A ton of militaries also know how he feels and no royal will ever be able to do anything to hurt him by removing him of his military uniform becuase of this statement. Bravo.

      • ecsmom says:

        I also agree it wasn’t an intended dig. There were statements from veterans how their identity was tied to being in the military and wearing the uniform. I think Harry saw this as an opportunity to share his experience, which is a profound one. Those vets saw that his light was not diminished by the RF and that neither should theirs.

      • Wannabefarmer says:

        Youre right, his spokesman did come out and say pretty much this, banning wont change/take away his 10 years of service.

    • Wannabefarmer says:

      I said in an earlier comment on another article that I was totally petty and thought it was shade but I’m sure he meant it as a message to vets because he knows the feeling and was reminding them of what’s important. I still like that it can be interpreted as shade though.

  2. MaryContrary says:

    I’ve been a BRF observer since the 80s when Diana came on the scene-I was a teenager and thought she was amazing. I actually feel a little teary eyed watching him speak-she would be so proud of him and what he’s accomplished with Invictus.

    • Seraphina says:

      I teared up reading his words. And I was reminded of his mother as I read them. HE is his mother’s son. Diana would be proud.

    • acha says:

      I had the luck of reporting on him at one of the Invictus games, and he was brilliant before any of this bs went down. He is the heart and soul of the monarchy, those withered little windbags should have bent over backwards to keep his star power… Now they can’t even justify the monarchy’s existence.

    • Christine says:

      The photo that is the thumbnail to click on the article is the most Diana expression I’ve ever seen on Harry’s face.

  3. TeamMeg says:

    That header photo of Good King Harry and his guards will never get old.

  4. Chloe says:

    I disagree. I don’t think he was thinking of his own family at all. In fact i think Harry has long reconciled himself with the uniform thing. I think it was genuinely meant to be an encouragement to his brothers and sisters in arms. “You might not wear the uniform anymore but you are all still soldiers and fighters” something like that.

    • Michelle says:

      Totally agree with you @chloe. Unlike his petty family, Harry tries to help others. He was saying the uniform doesn’t define who you are.

    • MF says:

      To me, this sounds like a callback to the Sussexes’ “service is universal” line. Anyone can serve, whether you wear a uniform or not!

    • BlueNailsBetty says:

      I agree. I think Harry was truly speaking to veterans and of it may have hit the royals it is a coincidence due to their awfulness.

      Harry has moved on. He’s not playing any kind of games with the BM or BRF. They are not a factor in his decisions.

    • SarahCS says:

      I haven’t watched the documentary yet but I have read so much about veterans and mental health and the challenges they face. This sounds like a very sincere and important point that has nothing to do with his family. Harry has shown time and again that he can put his projects ahead of any personal feelings or issues.

    • Julie says:

      I totally agree with you. Contrary to some other countries, in the UK veterans are not allowed to wear their uniform. Harry lost his right to do it not because he was not a working royal anymore, but because his military symbolic representation (Royal Marine and others) were removed.

      • equality says:

        My understanding is that exceptions can be permitted like for funerals. So his wearing it for funeral services could have been permitted.

      • windyriver says:

        He was permitted to wear his uniform when he was standing vigil for TQ with the other grandchildren, so presumably, an exception could have been made at other points during the observances as well. However, IIRC, there were comments that a patch or insignia of some kind that would ordinarily be there, was missing from the shoulder on his uniform at the vigil. Don’t remember the details, but wouldn’t be surprised, because we know Charles can’t help dishing a little petty with anything that looks even the slightest bit kind or generous where Harry is concerned.

      • BeanieBean says:

        @windyriver: yeah, they wouldn’t let him wear the ERII patches on his epaulettes.

    • Saucy&Sassy says:

      Chloe, I agree. In fact, when he wasn’t allowed to wear his uniform for Philip’s funeral, didn’t he put out a statement much the same as this? He’s already said this in context about himself. He’s right, too, that it isn’t the uniform but what’s inside of each of them.

      Ah, the bm were feeling left out because they had nothing to write, so they latched onto that statement. Cry.

  5. theRobinsons says:

    Harry is a global King.

  6. Lissen says:

    I watched the livestream and I didn’t see this as a dig at the brf. The brf never even entered my mind. I was enjoying it too much.

    I think Harry has gone beyond the uniform. He knows who he is. I believe that his statement a year ago about the brf and their incessant need to punish him by denying him his right to wear his uniform shows that he truly has gone past it. He’s now helping his fellow veterans to go on the same journey. You don’t need that uniform. You yourself are enough.

    Harry’s statement from last year:

    “His decade of military service is not determined by the uniform he wears, and we respectfully ask that focus remain on the life and legacy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” the spokesperson adds.

  7. Cheericrow says:

    I wonder if there’s a section of people who are just paying attention to Invictus, that aren’t aware of all tbe BRF nonsense, that wouldn’t see this as pointed. Just a sincere speech part from one veteran to others that share the experience of transitioning between identities.

    Tremendous kudos to Harry for having astounding emotional intelligence

  8. Beverley says:

    Harry is the best thing to come from that family. He will stand out in history for being a true statesman and a wonderful human being.

    His relatives will merely be footnotes in the story of the last British monarch. And history won’t be kind in detailing their racism, incompetence, and grifting ways.

  9. Vanessa says:

    The British tabloids and the royal family are so desperate to be a part of Harry life that every comment every time Harry and Meghan step out . The British establishment will scream they taken digs at the Royal family that will twists themselves into knots to be apart of Harry narrative they truly believe that they have control over Harry thoughts and actions they refuse to leave him alone . It’s clear that Harry and Meghan have moved on from the royal family it’s the royal family and the British establishment who refuse to let them go because without Meghan and Harry they know they are the irrelevant ones no one cares about Charles and company no one cares about Kate wigs and William no cares to see the Wales kids . The global start power that the royal family once had because of Harry Meghan Diana and the Queen are gone .

  10. girl_ninja says:

    “Keen-eyed observers in the UK media have interpreted his words as a subtle dig at the Royal Family’s decision to not allow Harry to wear his military uniform at either his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral in September 2022, or at his father King Charles Coronation in May this year.”

    Well they wouldn’t have to interpret anything if Harry’s trash father didn’t disrespected him and his wife so openly and deliberately. And the way the British press cackled about Chuck’s disrespect instead of calling it out is another example of how unethical they are.

  11. Allykat says:

    I don’t think this has anything to do with the BRF. As a veteran, I know it was really hard for me when I left the service because I had identified so heavily with my uniform being the symbol of my service. This speech brought tears to my eyes because sometimes we do feel useless now that our service is over. It’s important to be reminded that the uniform doesn’t define us.

    • Honey says:

      Hi AllyKat:

      I was never a part of the armed services, but I can empathize with how something, someone or even some event being such a huge part of your identity so much so that it’s defining and then having to walk away from that or being separated from that thing. Who are you without it? How do you reorganize your life without it? It’s like have both an existential & psychological crisis at once.

      I thought Harry’s speech was both moving and was indicative of a man who has made peace with a part of his identity (his ceremonial uniform & its symbolism & his service being cut short) that was forcefully taken from him.

      He, you & everyone else who has served with integrity are much much more than your uniform.

  12. Amy Bee says:

    I think Harry’s gone beyond the Royal Family and what they did to him now. I don’t think he was talking about the Royal Family stripping him of his military titles (that’s the only way he would have been allowed to wear the uniform anyway) but the competitors who lost their identity after becoming injured and being forced to leave the military. It’s perhaps time for the press to start moving on now.

    • one of the marys says:

      I totally agree. It’s the royal family that put themselves at the center of everything. Therefore they saw it as a dig. The rota are only too happy to oblige them with more coverage and columns.

  13. Becks1 says:

    I thought it was such a moving part of his speech, definitely one that is getting lots of coverage on social media. Was it a veiled dig at the royal family? I don’t think so, not necessarily, but I do think it came from a place of honesty for Harry. He knows what those competitors went through when they left the military and cant serve anymore in that same capacity and he knows that having purpose can help them see themselves as more than the uniform.

    So basically I can see why the royal family might view it as a veiled dig, but not everything Harry says is about the royals. He was directing those comments directly to the Invictus community, he wasn’t complaining about not being able to wear a uniform to his father’s coronation.

  14. Queenie says:

    The bagpipe part of Harry’s speech had me crying. He really knows how to connect with individuals but then it transcends to hope and deep respect, for everyone there. Loved it so much.

  15. Brassy Rebel says:

    Harry may have been saying that these veterans don’t need a uniform to define who they are. But the royals are the ones who need uniforms and unearned medals on their puffed out chests because that’s what defines them—as frauds and valor thieves.

    • Jaded says:

      Perfectly stated @Brassy Rebel. Their unearned uniforms and flashy medals simply show that they are nothing more than false idols.

  16. Betsy says:

    Who cares about the uniform comment. In a group that experiences rates of suicide like veterans, that Harry stood up there and said “we value you, we need you and the world does too,” that is HUGE.

  17. Mary Pester says:

    No, Harry couldn’t give a fk about what the “left behind” Royals think, or the British rags. Harry was telling each and every veteran world wide that the uniform was what you wore then, but it helped produce the MAN /WOMAN you are today. Really like a butterfly that has shed it’s chrysalis. So don’t worry that you don’t wear an outer sign, be proud of who you are now, because your “now” is all that matters and you can all be proud of yourselves, just as he and we are proud of you

  18. Carrot says:

    Can we applaud Canada’s red and black hunter plaid uniform anyway? It made me smile THIS BIG!

  19. QuiteContrary says:

    That was such a powerful statement. Harry understands more of what it means to truly sacrifice for one’s country than any member of his family, in their cosplay and fake medals, ever will.

  20. Seraphina says:

    But I’m here to remind you that after all of this, you don’t need to rely on a uniform, nor should you feel lost without one. Because everything you need is already within you.”
    They lost a very powerful force when they mistreated Harry and his family. He continues to show he has nobility and they do not. He continues to show the world why Diana stated Henry has the temperament for a king and not willy. I pray that good continues to persevere and do good.

  21. It is the truth!! They can call it a dig if they want to buy it is just Harry telling the truth. The truth and the tabloids and his Royal cult don’t mix.

    • BeanieBean says:

      It’s not a dig at all because Harry wasn’t thinking about those people, he was thinking about the people right in front of him. The RRs are just sh*tstirrers. And golly gee whiz, the German tabloids say, the reality isn’t what they’ve been telling us & what we’ve been repeating. Huh. Imagine that.

  22. Chelsea says:

    I hate so much that Deadline now hires British hacks to write stories for them. To talk about Harry not wearing his uniform and lead with mention of “reports” claiming he was distressed and not his ACTUAL STATEMENT that he released at the time where he said he would be wearing his morning suit and wasn’t defined by his unform and asked the media to focus on remembering his grandmother’s life, is really something.

    These salty mfers want so bad for Harry to be hurt and consumed by all of this but he’s very obviously not anymore. I saw his comment in this speech not as a dig but a testament to his growth, maturity, and empathy for his veteran family who are trying to find themselves again after no longer being able to serve their countries in the way they once did. That entire speech was brilliant and such a perfect encapsulation of the compassionate leader he’s grown into; his mother would be so proud.

    • Giddy says:

      YES! This is a leader! This is a man who thinks of others, has compassion and empathy, and leans down to raise them up. He is a diplomat and leader who has earned his place and seeks only to use his position to help others. I hope that some day he will be named as a special global ambassador to the U.N. Harry is a treasure, and together he and Meghan are an incredible force.

  23. Eurydice says:

    Yes, the RF is definitely a part of this, but not in the way the tabloids think. Like the others, Harry is a veteran. But, unlike the others, the head of his family is the Commander-in-chief of the military he served. The decisions Elizabeth and Charles made as military commanders affected Harry as a member of the military. He’s worked through it and reconciling their actions was part of the process.

  24. tamsin says:

    Harry’s thoughts on what the uniform means are born of his own experience in both in and out of uniform, his dealing with trauma, and the royal family’s failure to recognize his service in their treatment of him. Because Harry is a veteran, their disrespect at the same time disrespects all veterans. It should be remembered that Harry spoke about the uniform in his opening speech, and his circling back to talk about the uniform in his closing speech clearly shows how Harry is truly “with” the competitors on their journeys to regain control of their lives and their identities. It speaks to the mental and emotional changes that the Games brings about. Harry is indeed the embodiment of Invictus, and he is a good guide to other veterans on their own Invictus journeys. To take that one comment out of context of both speeches is shameful and unethical journalism.

  25. Well Wisher says:

    It is not a ‘dig’, it is a statement of fact….
    The uniform is not the only identifying factor of person-hood…

  26. Feebee says:

    I didn’t hear it as a dig at his father and brother but I did think he was definitely including himself when he spoke to the Invictus audience. That makes sense because he is one of them. But it was poignant because he was so publicly stripped of his right to his uniform in a way his fellow soldiers, well I hope his fellow soldiers never experienced.

    So in that way if people want to read it as a dig, have at it. In the way of it being a hit dog hollering.

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