Prince Harry has said he wants to "celebrate" war veterans as he prepares to stage the second Invictus Games event in Orlando in May. The 31-year-old has explained what prompted him to launch the tournament for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women in an in-depth interview with Good Morning America.
Speaking to host Robin Roberts, Prince Harry explained that he felt compelled to support veterans following his own experiences in the army, which saw him carry out two tours of Afghanistan and rise to the rank of Apache helicopter commander before announcing his decision to leave in 2015.
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Prince Harry has given an in-depth interview with Good Morning America
One moment in particular after his first deployment changed Harry's life.
"I've been extracted after ten weeks of my first tour in Afghanistan. I'd done everything I could to get out there. After ten weeks, I got extracted," Harry explained. "Literally, being plucked out of my team and, yes, there was an element of me thinking, 'I'm an officer. I'm leaving my soldiers and it's not my own decision.'"
He continued: "I was broken. I didn't know what was going to happen to them and then suddenly I find myself on a plane that's delayed because a Danish soldier's coffin was being put onto the plane.
Prince Harry is preparing to stage the second Invictus Games in May
"Then, while I'm sitting there, I look through the curtain in the front, and there's three of our lads wrapped up in plastic, missing limbs."
Harry added that he was immediately affected by what he saw, admitting that until that point he had "only heard about" the injuries that people had suffered.
"That's how it all started for me," he said. "There's a reason why I've been in the Army and I would never have left the Army and not done this role. These people are role models and they need to be. It needs to be celebrated more amongst society."
Prince Harry will stage the second Invictus Games tournament in Orlando, Florida in May, and announced on Tuesday that plans are already underway for the third Invictus Games, which will take place in Toronto, Canada in September 2017.