These are some of my new favorite photos of Prince Harry – he was given an Invictus onesie for Archie Harrison, and Harry just full-on posed with the onesie for a LONG time. All of the photos from The Hague-Invictus launch event were spectacular, honestly. It was a great photo-op and the photos went around the world. Harry looked tired and happy and everyone was so glad to see him. While he was at the event, he spent a while talking to a wounded former soldier, who then spoke to media outlets about their conversation:
During his engagement in The Hague for the Invictus Games in 2020, Prince Harry said Archie has “given him a new focus and goal” in his life and how becoming a father has made him feel the loss of his mother. Dennis van der Stroom, 31, a former soldier who hopes to compete for The Netherlands Invictus team, described his conversation with Harry as “amazing and emotional”.
“Harry talked about how having a small child was his new focus and new goal and I told him how a couple of months ago, I was struggling with my mental health but my wife’s pregnancy has given me a goal,” he added. “Above all he said he was just amazed by the miracles in the world, and how his child has made a lot of people happy. He also told me he’s really happy that his son is so far very quiet. But he also told me not to make too many plans and that there’s no way you can plan for when the baby arrives.”
“I told Harry about my mother and we talked about our shared experience of missing a mum,” he continued. “He said missing a mother is like missing some kind of security, how you need that as a son and it falls away when you lose your mother. He said he meets a lot of people in his work who have lost a mother, father, sister, brother or relatives and when he hears their story, as he heard my story, he said he doesn’t feel so alone.”
“He said missing a mother is like missing some kind of security, how you need that as a son and it falls away when you lose your mother…” Gah, that hit me in the feels. I’m not going to sit here and psychoanalyze Harry, but I think it’s very telling that he ended up with Meghan, a woman with a strong personality, a woman who won’t be pushed around, a woman who is strong enough to be his partner in all things.
Speaking of, the Duke of Cambridge released a video message announcing the launch of Shout, a new UK service which offers mental health support via text. Only hours after William released the video message, the @SussexRoyal posted the Instagram below. It feels like… I don’t know, a subtle clapback on the Cambridges? Like, the Sussexes were like “hey this was our thing, we visited the Shout volunteers and we were the ones doing the meetings.” Was William trying to take credit for the Sussexes’ work?
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Today in the UK, a critical new 24/7 text helpline has launched – @giveusashoutinsta This free text messaging helpline is a private, silent and trusted way, for those experiencing mental health challenges to find a safe space to seek help and support. This is an extension of the @heads_together initiative backed by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Earlier last year, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex began supporting this vital program behind the scenes by hosting a meeting at Kensington Palace with contributors and partners. Last November, Their Royal Highnesses also made a surprise visit to meet with a group of Shout volunteers, and participated in a panel with mental health activist @bryonygordon hearing firsthand how the volunteers have found making the connection with vulnerable texters, a majority of whom are under 25, so rewarding – helping to get them through a moment of crisis to a calmer place, and giving them courage to find longer-term support. Powered by a team of trained volunteers, Shout has already quietly enlisted and trained 1,000 volunteers over the last 12 months, whom in turn have helped 60,000 people. SHOUT is modeled on @crisistextline in the US, which since 2013 has processed more than 100 million messages, Shout is the largest initiative of The Royal Foundation to date, in partnership with @heads_together. Tapping into the UK’s volunteer community, Shout aims to recruit 3,000 additional volunteers by the end of the year. Mobilizing a volunteer community with this innovative use of technology will go a long way in helping people get the critical help they need, often in the darkest of times, when those are privately and silently suffering and afraid to seek help. To sign up to volunteer, visit www.giveusashout.org Be the change you wish to see in the world.
Photos courtesy of Instagram, WENN.