The Duke of Sussex opened this year's Invictus Games 2018. (Picture Dominic LipinskiPA)
Invictus Games

Prince Harry Officially Opens Invictus Games

The grand opening of the Invictus Games 2018 is finally underway after a tropical storm delayed the opening ceremony.

The Duke of Sussex opened this year's Invictus Games 2018. (Picture Dominic LipinskiPA)

The Duke of Sussex opened this year's Invictus Games 2018. (Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Prince Harry and Meghan are attending the opening ceremony at the Sydney Opera House to launch the games for injured service personnel.

It marks the latest stop on the couples' Australian tour and comes a year after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex made their first official public appearance at an Invictus event.

The Invictus Games will see athletes from 18 countries compete in 11 sports over the next eight days.

The opening ceremony was delayed by an hour after a heavy downpour and electrical storm hit Sydney and damaged technical equipment. 

The Duke of Sussex greeted the strong crowds with "hello Australia, hello Invictus" as he officially opened the 2018 Invictus Games.

Forces News reports on the opening ceremony from Sydney.

Speaking at the ceremony he added:

"On this day in 1973 my grandmother, the Queen, stood in front of this Opera House and declared it open.  

"45 years later, to the day, it is my honour to be standing in front of this iconic symbol of Australia's place in the modern world at the start of the fourth Invictus Games."

He then spoke of the country's beauty as they play host to the games:

"I'm sure you will all agree that these games have never had a more beautiful backdrop."

Prince Harry launched the Invictus Games in 2014 with the aim of helping wounded service men, women and veterans with their physical and mental health issues. 

He spoke of his time in the Armed Forces as he delivered his speech:

"From my life-changing flight back from the battlefields of Afghanistan to the example of America’s warrior games, Invictus was inspired by the experiences I had alongside our servicemen and women from many nations."

The Duke served in the Army for 10 years.

He added: "These Games were created for our men and women in uniform; designed around their talents and their needs; and built not just for them, but also for the friends and families that have supported their recoveries and had their lives changed forever."

Speaking at the ceremony, Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove said:

"There's no higher service than that of those who wear the uniform and serve their nation in the Armed Forces.

"These men and women risk their lives for us and our beliefs.

"They are revered and respected, they hold a special place in our hearts.

"These Games are being held a century after the end of the Great War. We continue to remember our Diggers and all they went through."

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said: "Those who are already here know victory in the toughest arena there is."

Traditional aboriginal performances and welcome ceremonies took place, as well as a presentation of a traditional Message Stick to the Invictus trustee, Dave Henson.

 

Keep up to date with the 2018 Invictus Games here.