At the finale of the Invictus Games, the Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry, delivered a touching speech that unexpectedly hearkened back to an intimate part of his royal lineage. The Invictus Games have been an emotional journey for Prince Harry, and as this year's event concluded, he ensured to make it unforgettable.
During a poignant moment at the Invictus 2025 Canadian team tent, Prince Harry's attention was drawn to a set of bagpipes. The prince recalled, "Some of you might be aware of the significance bagpipes hold for me. I was secretly wishing they'd be played." For Harry, bagpipes are not just an instrument but a bridge to his past.
The late Queen, his beloved grandmother, cherished the resonant sound of bagpipes every morning and during her dinner times. Moreover, King Charles, while at his royal residences, has been known to wake up to their haunting melodies.
In a heartfelt gesture last October, following the Queen's demise, Charles shared a poignant video where his piper serenaded him at his London residence.
Bagpipes: Gendron's Emotional Journey
Intriguingly, bagpipes held a profound meaning for Master Corporal James Gendron too.
Harry shared, "I was unaware of their significance to James or the memories they invoked. In Afghanistan, he performed 63 ramp ceremonies, each for a different soldier. For 63 grieving families. He hadn't touched the instrument in four years, uncertain if he could face playing them again.
But this week, he did. An instrument that once brought pain might now offer solace." Previously, in his memoir 'Spare', Harry described the profound emotional resonance of bagpipes, particularly reflecting on his mother, Princess Diana's, passing.
He wrote, "It's not about the tune, but the tone. Bagpipes mirror the heart's emotions, magnifying what's already there." The Invictus Games' closing ceremony was made even more memorable as the previous day was Prince Harry's 39th birthday.
The attendees, along with his wife Meghan, serenaded him with 'Happy Birthday' Playfully embarrassed, Harry gestured humorously at the organizers who initiated the singing. The crowd's enthusiasm didn't wane as they shouted out for a 'speech', although the Prince charmingly declined.
Soon, Harry and Meghan will be heading back to Los Angeles to be with their young ones, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet. Both have expressed their desire for their children to be part of future Invictus Games, sharing that hope with attendees and fans alike.