Prince Harry grew emotional as he thanked a "haunted" bagpipe player for his performance during his speech at the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games.
Prince Harry grew emotional as he thanked a "haunted" bagpipe player for his performance.
The 39-year-old royal paid tribute to Master Corporal James Gendron, who he had met in the Canadian tent at the Invictus Games, as he told how much he loves the sound of the instrument, so was pleased when the veteran played for him - only realising afterwards how difficult it was for the soldier because of the memories it brought back.
In a speech to close the Games, Harry said: "Yesterday I met with Master Corporal James Gendron.
“While we were chatting, I noticed bagpipes lying on the floor in the far corner. Some of you may know what bagpipes mean to me, so I couldn’t help but hope they’d be played! Little did I know that thirty minutes later, it would be James picking them up and offering to play - yet I had no idea what they meant to him.
“Nor did I know what memories they triggered for him.
“In Afghanistan he played 63 ramp ceremonies. For 63 caskets. For 63 souls. For 63 families. For four years after that last ceremony, he couldn’t touch them. This week he wasn’t sure whether he could bring himself to play them. But he did.
“What had once haunted him, dare I say it, may now be what helps heal him. Thank you James, for your service, for your courage, for sharing your gift.”
In his speech, the prince - who was joined at the event by his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex - praised the competitors for inspiring people around the world.
He told the audience in Dusseldorf, Germany: “We’ve all witnessed the true impact sport has had on your recovery. But you will never truly know the impact your actions this week have had on millions of people around the world.
“You have opened people’s hearts, through your vulnerability, through your resilience and your sheer abilities. You have shown us that joy can emerge from struggle.”
The closing ceremony also featured performances from Rita Ora and Sam Ryder.
Harry has previously spoken of how the bagpipes remind him of the death of his mother, Princess Diana.
He wrote in his memoir 'Spare': "With bagpipes it's not the tune, it's the tone. Thousands of years old, bagpipes are built to amplify what's already in the heart. If you're feeling silly, bagpipes make you sillier.
"If you're angry, bagpipes bring your blood to a higher boil. And if you're in grief, even if you’re twelve years old and don't know you're in grief, maybe especially if you don't know, bagpipes can drive you mad."
On the same day that Glastonbury welcomed back Margate's adopted sons, The Libertines, Margate itself put on it's very own Leisure Festival as it...
Sheffield's very own all girl group Pretty Fierce are still on a high after the recent release of their debut single - 'Ready For Me'.
Three nights before the end of his current tour Will Varley returned to his home town of Deal to delight a sold out crowd in The Astor Theatre.
With only a few days to go before Portsmouth based songstress and producer WYSE releases her new single, 'Belladonna', we caught up with her to find...
Colorado raised, Glasgow educated and Manchester based Bay Bryan is nothing if not a multi-talented, multi-faceted artist performing as both...
Former Marigolds band member Keelan Cunningham has rediscovered his love of music with his new solo project Keelan X.
Wiltshire singer-songwriter Luke De Sciscio, formally known as Folk Boy, is set to release is latest album - 'The Banquet' via AntiFragile Music on...
Electronic music pioneer and producer Annie Elise says that the release of her first EP - 'Breathe In, Breathe Out' feels "both vulnerable and...