At the Tower of London earlier this morning, Prince Harry unveiled the British team heading to the Invictus Games in Toronto later this year.
A 90-strong group of injured service personnel and veterans are heading to Canada for the third games, which Harry masterminded.
It was the team’s first official photograph, taken outside the Tower’s central White Tower, and there was plenty of forces joking and banter.
The former army captain told assembled men and women: “No matter how you are going to do I promise you that you will feel a million dollars. Whether you cross the finishing line first it last will make no difference to me or to anyone.
“It’s in our blood to win, it’s in our nature to win. [but] Whether you are blowing smoke out of your arse as your cross the line makes no difference. It is what you are achieving, what you have achieved to get there.”
“This is a real opportunity for you guys to be congratulated and recognised for the amazing things you have done and the amazing things you are doing and will go on to do,” Harry said.
“This is the last stepping stone and as I see it there are many different paths you can now follow.”
The UK is one of 17 nations taking part in the Games, from September 23-30, with more than 550 athletes competing in 12 adaptive sports.
Athletics, archery, wheelchair basketball, road cycling, powerlifting, indoor rowing, wheelchair rugby, swimming, sitting volleyball, wheelchair tennis, the Jaguar Land Rover Driving Challenge, all form the competition, with a new sport for 2017: golf.
Harry, who is patron of the Invictus Games Foundation, joined competitors at a reception in Plaisterers Hall following the photo call. A six-year-old girl, whose mother is competing in September, read a thank you note to Prince Harry today. Maya Turner told him he had ‘helped her mummy’ after she was selected for the team.
Maya’s mother Michelle, who suffers from a heart condition, will compete in swimming and rowing events.
Praise for the Prince came from Captain Ken Hargreaveschery: “If it wasn’t for you, this really wouldn’t be here. From all of us it’s a really heartfelt thank you.”
Harry replied: “But if it wasn’t for you [all] it wouldn’t be happening either.”