Red-faced Invictus hero poses for selfie but accidentally taps Harry’s bottom

‘Oh no, my hand’s just stuck on Prince Harry’s bottom!’: Red-faced Invictus hero poses for selfie but accidentally taps the Duke’s derrière – as he unveiled Team UK

  • Duke of Sussex launches UK’s team of injured and wounded military veterans and service personnel 
  • The 65 sportsmen and women will compete in the next Invictus Games from May 9 to 16 in The Hague
  • Harry was inspired to found the global tournament after attending the Warrior Games in Colorado in 2013 
  • Inaugural games were in London in 2014, followed by Orlando in 2016, Toronto in 2017 and Sydney in 2018

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The Duke of Sussex cosied up to the inspirational servicemen and women who are set to make his new Invictus Games team today and got even closer than he anticipated.

One competitor, Lynsey Kelly, 35, was left red-faced after she put her arm around the royal’s waist for a selfie and exclaimed: ‘Oh no, my hand’s just stuck on Prince Harry’s bottom!’

Harry, who was on great form as he greeted each and every one of the 65-strong team who will compete on behalf of the UK at The Hague next year, took the moment in his stride and laughed uproariously.  

A group of 65 sportsmen and women gathered together at the event at the Honourable Artillery Company in London after being selected for the Paralympics-style event, to compete in the Netherlands next year. 

During an informal chat with the competitors the royal – who spent ten years as an Army officer – said it was ‘going to be awesome’, adding: ‘This is an opportunity for you guys to be serving your country again.’  

The Duke of Sussex attends the Team UK launch for the Invictus Games at the Honourable Artillery Company in London today. Team UK also unveiled its first female captain, RAF veteran Rachel Williamson, who is pictured to Harry’s left

Harry hugs a woman at the Invictus Games Team UK launch

Harry smiles during the event today

Harry hugs a woman at the Invictus Games Team UK launch at the Honourable Artillery Company in London today

Harry, pictured today, launched the Invictus Games after attending the Warrior Games in Colorado six years ago

Harry, pictured today, launched the Invictus Games after attending the Warrior Games in Colorado six years ago

Prince Harry poses with competitors as he attends the launch of Team UK for the Invictus Games The Hague 2020

Prince Harry at the launch of Team UK for the Invictus Games The Hague 2020 today

Prince Harry poses with competitors as he attends the launch of Team UK for the Invictus Games The Hague 2020 today

The Duke smiles as he attends the launch of Team UK for the Invictus Games at the Honourable Artillery Company today

The Duke smiles as he attends the launch of Team UK for the Invictus Games at the Honourable Artillery Company today

Harry attends the event in London today

Organisers have said that after 2020, Invictus will be staged every two years

Harry attends the event in London today. Organisers have said that after 2020, Invictus will be staged every two years

A group of 65 sportsmen and women have been selected for the Paralympics-style event and will compete next year

A group of 65 sportsmen and women have been selected for the Paralympics-style event and will compete next year 

He was guest of honour at the event, held at the Honourable Artillery Company in London, in his role as patron and founder of the Invictus Games Foundation.

It saw the team of wounded, injured and sick service personnel, both serving and veterans, coming together for the first time ahead of next year’s competition, designed to highlight the importance of sport as part of the recovery journey of those with life changing injuries or illnesses.

The UK is one of 19 nations who will be taking part in the fifth Invictus Games next May in The Netherlands, which will see 500 competitors competing in 10 adaptive sports. The Team UK trials were held in Sheffield in July this year.

Harry, dressed casually in beige trousers, boots and a matching jumper with a Remembrance poppy pinned to it, arrived 25 minutes late but received a rousing welcome. ‘What are you most looking forward to? ‘ he asked the team.

‘Who is still serving? Who’s RAF?’ he asked, before comically gesturing to one side and shouting: ‘Out!’ His audience laughed loudly at the comic banter highlighting the traditional rivalry between the Army and Air Force. 

The Duke of Sussex attends the launch of Team UK for the Invictus Games

Harry smiles today as the team of wounded, injured and sick service personnel come together for the first time

Harry smiles today as the team of wounded, injured and sick service personnel come together for the first time

Harry holds out his arms as he attends the event today

Harry smiles as he meets the competitors

Harry smiles as he meets the competitors at the Honourable Artillery Company in London this morning

The Duke of Sussex points at his wrist as a woman laughs during the launch of the Invictus Games team from the UK today

The Duke of Sussex points at his wrist as a woman laughs during the launch of the Invictus Games team from the UK today

The Duke of Sussex poses for photos at the launch of Team UK at the Honourable Artillery Company in London this morning

A woman looks up at Harry as she poses for a photo

The Duke of Sussex poses for photos at the launch of Team UK at the Honourable Artillery Company in London this morning

The Duke of Sussex holds his hands together as he attends the launch of Team UK for the Invictus Games this morning

The Duke of Sussex holds his hands together as he attends the launch of Team UK for the Invictus Games this morning

The Duke of Sussex meets team members during the launch of Team UK for the Invictus Games The Hague 2020 today

The Duke of Sussex meets team members during the launch of Team UK for the Invictus Games The Hague 2020 today

The Duke of Sussex laughs as he meets team members during the launch of Team UK at the Honourable Artillery Company

The Duke of Sussex laughs as he meets team members during the launch of Team UK at the Honourable Artillery Company

Moving from group to group he asked: ‘Are people quite nervous? That’s fine. Have you got children? Yes, you want to do it for them. Which you will do. It feels good as well, right?

Sussex Royal Instagram presents Invictus team

The following message appeared on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Instagram account Sussex Royal today: 

We are proud to present your 2020 Invictus Games UK team!

Today, The Duke of Sussex, founder of the, attended the UK team announcement for next year’s games in The Hague.

Prince Harry created the to celebrate the power of sport rehabilitation (both physically and mentally) and to generate a wider appreciation for those who serve their country.

Participating in the games plays a significant part in the recovery journey of wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women. It doesn’t just heal the individual, it heals the whole family.

Over the last few years, the stories of determination and perseverance that come out of each Invictus Game are nothing short of inspiring.

Congratulations to everyone selected to represent their country at next year’s Invictus Games – we’ll see you in The Hague in 2020!

‘You’ve got a lot of humour within this group, you’ve got a lot of personalities, so good luck with that!

‘This is an opportunity you wouldn’t have had all those years ago. You have been through dark times. Did you feel really isolated?

‘This is an opportunity to wear the flag again with pride and be part of a unit and a team. Hopefully you will stay friends forever. It is going to be awesome. Enjoy, this is where it starts. ‘

Ms Kelly, 35, from Oxfordshire, spoke afterwards about the affect being part of the Invictus Team had already had on her – and, of course, accidentally touching the sixth in line to the throne’s derriere.

She said: ‘I have been really quite poorly with my mental and physical health but this experience, clichéd as it sounds, has already actually changed my life.’

Ms Kelly, a logistical movements controller, was medically discharged from the RAF as a result of leg and foot injuries. She became severely depressed and put on ten stone in weight in just 18 months.

She has already lost half of that and hopes to lose more as she competes in swimming, archery, power lifting and rowing.

Ms Kelly said: ‘It has made me realise that I am still worthy and I am deserving. My motto has become: if I can do this, anyone can do this.

‘The pain had become so bad that sometimes I couldn’t get out of bed, lift my head off the pillow or wash my hair. I also didn’t want to leave the RAF, I was medically discharged, and I think that all took a massive toll on my mental health. 

The Duke of Sussex meets team members during the launch of Team UK for the Invictus Games The Hague 2020 today

The Duke of Sussex meets team members during the launch of Team UK for the Invictus Games The Hague 2020 today

The Duke attends the launch of Team UK for the Invictus Games The Hague 2020 at the Honourable Artillery Company today

The Duke attends the launch of Team UK for the Invictus Games The Hague 2020 at the Honourable Artillery Company today

The Duke attends the launch of Team UK for the Invictus Games The Hague 2020 at the Honourable Artillery Company today

The Duke attends the launch of Team UK for the Invictus Games The Hague 2020 at the Honourable Artillery Company today

Harry arrives for the event in London today

At the launch, staged in Central London this morning, the competitors gathered together for the first time

At the launch, staged in Central London this morning, the competitors gathered together for the first time

At the launch, being staged in Central London this morning, the competitors gathered together for the first time

At the launch, being staged in Central London this morning, the competitors gathered together for the first time

The Duke of Sussex smiles at the launch of Team UK for the Invictus Games The Hague 2020 in London this morning

Harry poses for a photo with competitors

The Duke of Sussex smiles at the launch of Team UK for the Invictus Games The Hague 2020 in London this morning

Harry joins with the 65-strong team of wounded, injured and sick service personnel for the photocall in London today

Harry joins with the 65-strong team of wounded, injured and sick service personnel for the photocall in London today

‘There was huge kudos for me being a member of the armed forces. It was a matter of immense pride. I joined up when I was 17 and you become quite institutionalised. The force is like your family. To be parted from that is a huge wrench. It was all I knew.

‘When I was made to leave it was at a time I was feeling really poorly and it all took its toll on me, to be honest. I am now surrounded by people who have struggled with the same thing. I know I can message any of the people here and just ask to talk and they are there for me. ‘

She described Harry’s involvement as ‘wonderful’, saying: ‘That someone of his standing is doing this to raise awareness, it just wonderful. ‘

Asked about her selfie, she exclaimed: ‘Oh my gosh! I just put my arm around him and it all went a bit wrong. I said: ‘Oh I am so sorry, my arm has just [got] stuck on your bottom’. He just laughed, thankfully. He is so friendly. He is so normal, ex-serving military, he knows what we are on about and can relate to what we are talking about.

‘He is amazing. He has had struggles with his own mental health at times and can relate to us. So it’s just wonderful. He is a great ambassador for this.’ 

Prince Harry went on to stage the inaugural games in London's Olympic Park in 2014, followed by Orlando in 2016

Harry smiles as he meets the competitors today

Prince Harry went on to stage the inaugural games in London’s Olympic Park in 2014, followed by Orlando in 2016

The Duke poses with competitors today as he attends the launch of Team UK for the Invictus Games The Hague 2020

The Duke poses with competitors today as he attends the launch of Team UK for the Invictus Games The Hague 2020 

Harry was inspired in 2013 after seeing how injured US military personnel thrived on the challenge of taking part in sports

Harry smiles as he meets those involved in the games

Harry was inspired in 2013 after seeing how injured US military personnel thrived on the challenge of taking part in sports

The Duke of Sussex attends the launch of Team UK for the Invictus Games The Hague 2020 in London this morning

The Duke of Sussex attends the launch of Team UK for the Invictus Games The Hague 2020 in London this morning

The Duke stands in front of the 65-strong team of wounded, injured and sick service personnel in London today

The Duke stands in front of the 65-strong team of wounded, injured and sick service personnel in London today

Prince Harry smiles while attending the Invictus Games team launch at the Honourable Artillery Company in London today

Prince Harry smiles while attending the Invictus Games team launch at the Honourable Artillery Company in London today

The Duke of Sussex officially launches the team of injured and wounded military veterans and service personnel today

The Duke of Sussex officially launches the team of injured and wounded military veterans and service personnel today

Harry smiles as he speaks animatedly to the competitors

Harry meets the men and woman in London this morning who will compete in the next Invictus Games in the Netherlands

Harry meets the men and woman in London this morning who will compete in the next Invictus Games in the Netherlands

Chatting with more of her team-mates, Harry was asked what he got out of the experience, as people queued to thank him for what he had done in setting up the games.

He said: ‘It’s an honour and a privilege to be able to start something that guys can use. Every single one of you deserves to be recognised and we know already how sport can help physically and mentally (with recovery).

‘You have fought your way from injury to be here today. It is a little bit of magic. It is really, really special.

‘This an opportunity for you guys to serve your country. Do not underestimate the impact you guys are having on other people too. Others will be watching you on TV and will recognise and empathises and be inspired by your story, where you come from and where you are now. ‘

Among those he met was Andy Kerr, 51, a serving soldier with the Royal Engineers for 35 years, who played rugby at the highest level but was forced to give up the sport he loved after suffering a neck injury.

He persuaded Harry to pose for a picture with Ellie, a rhino mascot given to him by his now adult daughter, Elleanor, when she was 13. 

Harry has described the games as having changed society's perception of disability and mental health

Harry has described the games as having changed society’s perception of disability and mental health

The team will compete in nine sports such as athletics, archery, wheelchair basketball, cycling and power lifting

Harry smiles as he poses for a group photo this morning

The team will compete in nine sports such as athletics, archery, wheelchair basketball, cycling and power lifting

Among the sports Team UK will be involved in are indoor rowing, wheelchair rugby, swimming and sitting volleyball

Among the sports Team UK will be involved in are indoor rowing, wheelchair rugby, swimming and sitting volleyball

Training will continue until May in various locations across the country as part of a Help for Heroes programme

Harry poses for the photo in London today

Training will continue until May in various locations across the country as part of a Help for Heroes programme

The training is part of Help for Heroes' extensive Sports Recovery programme and role to train and develop the team

The training is part of Help for Heroes’ extensive Sports Recovery programme and role to train and develop the team

Harry staged the first Invictus Games in 2014 and recently celebrated the sporting event's fifth anniversary

Harry staged the first Invictus Games in 2014 and recently celebrated the sporting event’s fifth anniversary

Prince Harry attends the launch of Team UK for the Invictus Games The Hague at the Honourable Artillery Company today

Harry's official Instagram account posted a message about the event

Prince Harry attends the launch of Team UK today, as his official Instagram account posted a message about the event (right)

Prince Harry poses with competitors as he attends the launch of Team UK at the Honourable Artillery Company today

Prince Harry poses with competitors as he attends the launch of Team UK at the Honourable Artillery Company today

He explained afterwards that he had taken the mascot with him ‘everywhere’- including Iraq and Afghanistan. He is planning to compete on archery, shot-put, long jump and discus.

Ms Williamson, 30, who sprained her right thumb playing rugby for the RAF but as a result of a series of medical issues has now lost the use of her whole arm, was also today named as captain of Team GB.

She said: ‘What a journey we have ahead of us. We take small steps first. For some of us it’s just getting up in the morning to get to the gym or learn a new sport or even make a new friend. For others it is about competing in a much larger environment. It is life changing either way, it really is.

‘We all go in dark places, we have good days and bad days. I was a medic in the past and being a patient didn’t come easy to me. But this has changed people’s mind-set overnight.

‘I was in such a bad place personally. I wouldn’t talk to anyone about it, not my parents or my friends. I was ashamed that I wasn’t as good as I used to be. I had no job, I would sit on the sofa each day in my pyjamas watching daytime TV. 

The Duke has previously said the competitors have not only saved their own lives, but those of others they have inspired

The Duke has previously said the competitors have not only saved their own lives, but those of others they have inspired

Harry was inspired to found the global tournament after attending the Warrior Games in Colorado in 2013

Harry was inspired to found the global tournament after attending the Warrior Games in Colorado in 2013

The Duke of Sussex poses with competitors at the Honourable Artillery Company in London this morning

The Duke of Sussex poses with competitors at the Honourable Artillery Company in London this morning

The Duke of Sussex attends the launch of Team UK for the Invictus Games The Hague 2020 this morning

The Duke of Sussex attends the launch of Team UK for the Invictus Games The Hague 2020 this morning

The Duke of Sussex poses for a photograph with a competitor at the launch of Team UK for the Invictus Games 2020 today

The Duke of Sussex poses for a photograph with a competitor at the launch of Team UK for the Invictus Games 2020 today

Team UK competitors smile and laugh as Harry poses with them for a group photograph in London this morning

Team UK competitors smile and laugh as Harry poses with them for a group photograph in London this morning

The Duke of Sussex (centre) has a picture taken of him with team members while attending the launch of Team UK today

The Duke of Sussex (centre) has a picture taken of him with team members while attending the launch of Team UK today

The Duke poses for a photo today as he attends the launch of the team selected to represent the UK at the Invictus Games

The Duke poses for a photo today as he attends the launch of the team selected to represent the UK at the Invictus Games

The Duke of Sussex (centre) has a picture taken of him with team members at the launch in London this morning

The Duke of Sussex (centre) has a picture taken of him with team members at the launch in London this morning

Harry, pictured today, was inspired to found the global tournament after attending the Warrior Games in Colorado in 2013

Harry, pictured today, was inspired to found the global tournament after attending the Warrior Games in Colorado in 2013

‘Invictus has given me a whole different mental outlook on life as well as physical one. Everything has turned and I feel so proud. It was a leap of faith for me but my message is: be brave, do it, you won’t regret it. ‘

Ms Williamson said the prince had told her that she had a ‘great bunch’ of people on her team. ‘He said just get out there, be yourself,’ she added.

RAF veteran Rachel Williamson who suffered serious rugby injury becomes first Team UK female captain 

Prince Harry with RAF veteran Rachel Williamson today

Prince Harry with RAF veteran Rachel Williamson today

Team UK today unveiled its first female captain, Royal Air Force veteran Rachel Williamson.

Ms Williamson previously suffered a rugby injury while playing for an RAF team, which developed into a functional neurological disorder, leaving her unable to use her arm completely.

She almost gave up on fitness forever, but said this year was an opportunity to ‘build’ a new version of herself and take the ‘final step’ to where she wants to be.

Ms Williamson added: ‘I’ve accepted my injury; learnt I can let my emotions go and not be embarrassed or afraid about asking for help.

‘Now it’s time I raise the bar by trying new sports, being positive and happier with less excuses.’

The veteran described the Invictus Games ‘as an amazing opportunity through sport to regain that sense of pride which can be lost following the onset of mental or physical disabilities’.

She added: ‘Sport empowers us to refocus our attention on what we can do, rather than what we can’t. To be selected as Team UK Captain is truly an honour and I feel immensely proud to be given this opportunity.’

Harry explained their influence would have a profound effect on many, saying: ‘It’s a really important point to know as well, never underestimate the impact you guys are having on everybody else.’

Harry said feedback following previous Invictus Games revealed people were ‘genuinely inspired’ by their story. 

Ms Williamson previously suffered a rugby injury, which developed into a functional neurological disorder, leaving her unable to use her arm completely.

She said this year was an opportunity to ‘build’ a new version of herself and take the ‘final step’ to where she wants to be.

‘I’ve accepted my injury; learnt I can let my emotions go and not be embarrassed or afraid about asking for help. Now it’s time I raise the bar by trying new sports, being positive and happier with less excuses,’ she said.

The veteran described the Invictus Games ‘as an amazing opportunity through sport to regain that sense of pride which can be lost following the onset of mental or physical disabilities’.

The duke went around talking to all the UK team members, joking with them and giving them advice having helped mastermind the previous four Games.

He told one group ‘make sure you enjoy every single moment and look after each other’ and in a lighter moment he made a quip about the Dutch hosts of the 2020 Games and a sweet treat popular in Holland..

Harry said: ‘You’ve got to like orange and make sure you don’t eat too many stroopwafel.’

The team will compete in nine sports from athletics, archery, wheelchair basketball, cycling, power lifting, indoor rowing, wheelchair rugby, swimming and sitting volleyball. 

Training will continue until May in various locations across the country as part of Help for Heroes’ extensive Sports Recovery programme and role to train and develop the team.

Hannah Lawton, of Help for Heroes and Chef de Mission for Team UK, said: ‘The 65 men and women selected to represent Team UK will not only gain a personal recovery benefit from taking part in the Games but they will hopefully inspire others suffering with life-changing injuries or illnesses that anything is possible.’

Harry staged the first Invictus Games in 2014, and last month celebrated the sporting event’s fifth anniversary describing the games as having changed society’s perception of disability and mental health. 

Prince Harry poses with Invictus staff and competitors at a reception to celebrate the fifth Anniversary in London last month

Prince Harry poses with Invictus staff and competitors at a reception to celebrate the fifth Anniversary in London last month

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex at the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games in Sydney, Australia, in October 2018

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex at the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games in Sydney, Australia, in October 2018

Prince Harry and Meghan attend the Invictus Games together in Toronto, Canada, in September 2017

Prince Harry and Meghan attend the Invictus Games together in Toronto, Canada, in September 2017

Prince Harry and then first lady Michelle Obama meet the US team ahead of the Invictus Games in Orlando in May 2016

Prince Harry and then first lady Michelle Obama meet the US team ahead of the Invictus Games in Orlando in May 2016

At the celebration, the duke said the wounded servicemen, women and veterans who have competed in the past four games have not only saved their own lives, but those of others they have inspired. 

Harry was inspired to found the global tournament after attending the Warrior Games in Colorado in 2013 and seeing how injured American military personnel thrived on the challenge of taking part in competitive sports that aided their recovery.

He went on to stage the inaugural games in London’s Olympic Park in 2014, followed by Orlando in 2016, Toronto in 2017 and Sydney in 2018, with The Hague chosen for the 2020 event where 500 competitors will take part in 10 adaptive sports. 

Organisers have said that after 2020, Invictus will be staged every two years.

At the launch, the competitors gathered together for the first time – one of 19 national teams who will be taking part in the event from May 9 to 16 in The Hague.

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