Prince Harry says 'the military made me who I am today' in stand-up charity appearance

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·3 min read

Prince Harry has said the military made him who he is as he lent his support to a stand-up night to support armed forces in the US.

Harry, 36, served for 10 years in the army and completed tours in Afghanistan, before he became a full-time working royal.

He and his wife Meghan Markle stepped back as senior royals in March, and now live in California, where he has been working with veterans as the couple put together the plans for their non-profit organisation.

In a pre-recorded message for the virtual Stand Up For Heroes event, Harry talked about being “born into a life of duty” but said that in the army he “committed to a life of service”.

Harry said: “(My military) experience changed my life forever and for the better.

“It changed how I viewed sacrifice and service. I was born into a life of duty, but it was during my decade in the army that I committed to a life of service.”

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 06: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex attends, as reviewing officer, the annual Founder's Day Parade at the Royal Hospital Chelsea on June 6, 2019 in London, England. Founder's Day celebrates the founding of the Royal Hospital in 1681 by King Charles II. The Royal Hospital is home to over 300 Chelsea Pensioners all of whom are retired soldiers of the British Army. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Prince Harry at the annual Founder's Day Parade at the Royal Hospital Chelsea in 2019. (Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Harry, Captain General Royal Marines, sits in a snow cave decorated with candles and his wedding photos, during Exercise Clockwork, celebrating 50 years of cold weather military training at Bardufoss Air Station, Norway February 14, 2019. NTB Scanpix/Rune Stoltz Bertinussen via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. NORWAY OUT
Prince Harry in a snow cave decorated with candles and his wedding photos, during Exercise Clockwork, celebrating 50 years of cold weather military training in 2019. (Rune Stoltz Bertinussen/Reuters)

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He added: “My experience in the military made me who I am today – and it also connected me with some of the strongest, funniest and most memorable people I’ve ever met.

“Once we join this team, we are always part of this team. Once we’ve served, we are always serving, and proudly so.”

His message came soon after photos emerged of Harry working with a non-profit in Los Angeles to pack and distribute food to veterans who are affected by COVID-19.

In an Instagram post by Walker Family Events Foundation, the Duke of Sussex was praised for being “humble”.

The virtual Stand Up For Heroes night included performances from people like Jon Stewart, Bruce Springsteen, Sheryl Crow and actor Ray Romano.

While Harry avoided cracking jokes himself, he did offer an insight into his work setting up the Invictus Games, which is for injured former service personnel.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attend the Invictus Games 2018 closing ceremony in Sydney. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attend the Invictus Games 2018 closing ceremony in Sydney. (Dominic Lipinski/PA Images)

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He said: “I wanted to honour the legacy of these men and women who have given up so much – from time with family to birthdays missed and even births missed.

“Some lost their limbs and others lost their lives. It’s for that reason that I created the Invictus Games – to give injured servicemen and women a platform to excel and reaffirm their values of resilience, of community and strength, which are inherent in each and every one of us.”

Discussing the coronavirus pandemic, which impacted Harry and Meghan’s plans to travel between the UK and the US after they left their senior royal roles, he said: “For the whole world, this year has been and continues to be incredibly hard.

“But we’ve also seen incredible resilience and purpose. As far as I see it, service is what happens in the quiet and in the chaos. It’s what happens when people aren’t looking and it’s about how we take care of each other every single day.”

Harry, who is father to Archie, was stripped of his honorary military titles when he and Meghan stepped back from their working royal roles. The titles - Captain General of the Royal Marines, Honorary Air Force Commandant of the Royal Air Force Base Honington, and Honorary Commodore-in-Chief of the Royal Naval Commands’ Small Ships and Diving - are on hold until a review of the situation in March 2021.