As expected, Meghan Markle joined Prince Harry for the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games last night. After Harry spent the day attending the final games for a number of tournaments, he gave an impassioned speech during the event, calling on participants to help pave the way for other veterans and service members and promising to see everyone again for the 2018 games in Australia.
Earlier today he also noted that he was optimistic that the event would continue past next year, saying that the sky’s the limit as far as he was concerned. Given the reaction of those who have participated and their families, I hope so too – it’s been remarkable watching all of this unfold this past week and wonderful to see how much media attention it has received. Hopefully this level of care and global attention will inspire further action for everyone back home.
As for last night, however, Harry’s speech was well-received and I’m going to include the full text here right in the middle of the post (details on Meghan below):
I want to start by saying thank you. Thank you to Michael Burns and his team, to all the amazing volunteers, to our friends and families, and to the people of Toronto. You have delivered the biggest Invictus Games yet, with the most incredible atmosphere, making our competitors feel like the stars they are. One week ago, I told you that you needed to be ready. But even I, could not have been ready for the scale of what we witnessed at these Games.
I told you to be ready for some fierce competition. But I’m not sure any of us were ready for a group of men from Georgia – who until three years ago had never even played the game to battle all the way to gold in sitting volleyball.
I told you to be ready to see examples of determination, that would give you power in your own lives. But I’m not sure any of us were ready to see Mark Ormrod, with a medal round his neck, hoisting his son onto his shoulders, and capturing the imagination of the world.
I told you to be ready to see the true meaning of teamwork. But who could have predicted how powerful it would be to see competitors from Ukraine, Denmark, Romania, and America, band together, to form Team Unconquered, and win a sitting volleyball game with people they just met.
I told you to get ready to see role models that children would look up to. But who could have imagined that Randi Gavell, would compete on the track, on the court and in the pool, having battled back from emotional challenges, and while four and a half months pregnant. I think we all know who Randi’s little girl is going to look up to.
I told you to be ready to see lives change in front of your eyes. But I didn’t tell you that some of those lives, would be your own.
I told you that anything is possible, if you have the will. But I didn’t tell you that when we saw triple amputee Mike Nicholson nail a 150 yard drive on the golf course, that our idea of what we thought was possible, would change forever.
I told you, you would be inspired. But I didn’t say, that these games, might leave you questioning, if you are living to your own true potential.
To the thousands who filled the stands this week, and the millions who watched at home, let me issue you a challenge. Don’t just move on from these games with happy memories. Instead, make an Invictus goal for yourselves.
Let the examples of service and resilience that you have seen, inspire you to take action to improve something – big or small – in your life, for your family, or in your community.
Let’s create a ripple effect of the Invictus spirit across our nations, that will be the real legacy of this extraordinary week.
As I did a week ago, I want to end by speaking directly to our competitors. Right now you’re on a high – at the summit of a mountain many of you thought was too high to climb. You have done it.
This is the moment, right here, right now, shoulder to shoulder. You are Invictus. These Games are not about gold, silver or bronze medals. They never have been. They’re about the journey that you and your families have made to the start line.
Now, going home, it might be tough, as the excitement fades, but you have faced much greater challenges before, it will be a breeze. As I have said many times, once you have served, you are always serving. On your return home, I want you to set a new Invictus goal.
Make a plan about how you are going to use the experience of this week, to help lift up all those around you. It might be something big, like starting a new project for young people. Or, it might be something small, like reconnecting with an old friend. It doesn’t matter how big or small your step is – just take it.
Our world needs your dedication and passion like never before. And you never know, this may just be the missing piece of the puzzle to help you regain that satisfaction of serving others once again.
And, I’d also ask for one more important favour. I bet you can all think of at least one person who would benefit from the Invictus Games, but has yet to find the motivation to make that first step.
When we gather in Sydney next year, I look forward to seeing familiar faces in competition. But, more than anything, I hope to meet those who have watched these games at home, who may still be struggling, but with your support will wear their nation’s flag on their chest once again as part of the 2018 Games.
And I want to see those who have competed this year, back by their sides cheering them on, as others have done for you.
The Invictus Games are not just for the already determined. These Games are for those who need it most. Please help us find them. It’s gonna be Game On, Down Under. I’ll see you in Australia.
Meghan attended with her and Harry’s friend, Markus Anderson, as well as her reported “best friend” Jessica Mulroney. Even more significantly, she brought along her mother, Doria Ragland, whose presence naturally only highlights the seriousness of the couple’s relationship (which, I mean, duh at this point).
And if that wasn’t enough, Harry joined them in their guest box to say hello and watch portions of the ceremony. Lest the public displays of affection and hand holding earlier this week weren’t enough, he was also snapped kissing her on the cheek, while Meghan’s expression when she looks at him can really only be described as complete adoration. Which is sweet and all, but Make. An. Announcement. Already. Is that so much to ask?
Anyway, the general consensus now is that a wedding will be scheduled for next summer after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s new baby is born, which would indicate a winter engagement.
Thank God Kate’s going be back in public next Tuesday, because the anticipation might just break Twitter.
As for clothes, Meghan is wearing Everlane jeans and a coat by The Line with a dark t-shirt and grey suede heels.
One last note, Bruce Springsteen performed last night, including his hit “Dancing in Dark,” which Meghan and her mother were spotted dancing to.
And with that, the Invictus Games are over. Harry’s next engagement is scheduled for October 9, so he may very well take a few more days in Toronto to spend with Meghan. We’ll see!