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Harry to join Michelle Obama at Invictus Games opening ceremony

Published 08/05/2016

Prince Harry steps from a golf buggy during the Land Rover Discovery Jaguar challenge at Invictus Games 2016
Prince Harry steps from a golf buggy during the Land Rover Discovery Jaguar challenge at Invictus Games 2016

Prince Harry will attend the opening ceremony of the Invictus Games today, joining US first lady Michelle Obama at the event.

The razzmatazz of the launch show, featuring British acts James Blunt and soprano Laura Wright, will also see Hollywood star Morgan Freeman perform.

Harry has spoken about his hopes for the "amazing'' tournament and acknowledged the pressure of maintaining the event's legacy.

The 31-year-old royal said he may have set the bar too high with the inaugural games staged in London in 2014, but after touring the Florida venues on Friday and chatting to competitors, he declared the sporting facilities in Orlando "awesome''.

Harry has been the driving force behind the Paralympic-style event for injured servicemen and women and veterans and over the five-day tournament more than 500 athletes from 14 countries will compete in a range of sports.

The Prince told the Press Association: ''It's going to be amazing, the atmosphere is going to be incredible.

''There's still a few more tickets to sell but we're just inviting people to come down and enjoy what's going to happen, it's going to be fantastic.

''Speaking to all the competitors, they're very happy, the food's great - which is what they care about - the accommodation is excellent. Once they're over the jet-lag they just want to get going.''

The first medals were presented yesterday by Harry but the tournament where sportsmen and women from countries like Italy, Germany, Australia, Estonia, Jordan and the UK will compete will begin in earnest tomorrow.

During the day Former US president George Bush will present a symposium about the ''invisible wounds'' of war, like post traumatic stress, and the prince will join him at the start of the day-long event held before the Invictus opening ceremony.

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