Henry Charles Albert David, who was known popularly as Prince Harry up until he ditched the fancy moniker earlier this week, is out and about in England promoting the upcoming Invictus Games.
In fact, he’s been joined by a major celebrity while doing so: Harry and Jon Bon Jovi recently recorded a song together at the famed Abbey Road Studios to celebrate the upcoming games.
Bon Jovi, who cleverly referred to Harry as the “Artist Formerly Known as Prince,” reportedly led a choir in a version of his song “Unbroken.” It’s presumed that the song will be used as an anthem of some kind for the games.
The song already has a special association with veterans, and so does Bon Jovi himself.
According to People, “‘Unbroken’ appears on the singer’s upcoming album Bon Jovi 2020 and was written to highlight veterans living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and to honor their service. Both of Bon Jovi’s parents served in the U.S. Marine Corps. and he is a longtime supporter of veterans’ welfare. The charity version of the Invictus Games Choir single will be released in March, in support of the Invictus Games Foundation.”
The Sussexes first teased an upcoming project on Instagram, where they posted an imagined text conversation between Harry and Bon Jovi himself. Fans were immediately thrilled and wondered: Did this mean that Harry would be singing a song or two? It looks like it definitely did, as footage has been shared of Harry singing alongside the rock legend.
The video posted to the pair’s Instagram account is captioned, “I said I’ll give it a shot…” and is pretty fun! It’s definitely cool to see Harry branching out and trying something like this in a major way.
For his part, this is not Jon’s first time singing with a royal. He and Prince William sang “Livin’ on a Prayer” with Taylor Swift in 2013.
Prince William looks pretty nervous in the video, but he didn’t do a bad job! It has to be nerve-racking to be singing a super-famous song alongside two great singers (one of whom sings the original recording). The performance wasn’t planned, but Prince William seems to have enjoyed it and even high-fives Bon Jovi at the end.
Harry founded the Invictus Games in 2014, and they have been one of his biggest, most personal projects ever since. Some were worried that Harry may lose his association with the games due to his decision to step back from senior royal duties, but earlier this year he announced that the 2022 Invictus Games will take place in Germany and indicated he will fully be there.
In the announcement, he said, “I am honoured that Germany will take the Invictus Story further, with the sixth Invictus Games heading to Düsseldorf in 2022. Germany has been a key part of the Invictus Games family since the very start in 2014 and I know that they will be exemplary hosts in picking up the mantle and showcasing what sport continues to do for these inspirational men and women in their recovery.”
Harry originally conceived the idea of the games after visiting the Warrior Games in 2013. The Warrior Games are hosted by the US Department of Defense. The Invictus Games website states that Harry loved the idea a lot and “saw how the power of sport could help physically, psychologically and socially. His mind was made up. London would host the inaugural Invictus Games, an international sporting event for wounded, injured and sick Service personnel.”
He moved quickly, and the first Invictus Games were held in London the following year. Since then, he’s attended the games every year they’ve been held, and he is expected to be in attendance when the games are hosted in the Netherlands in April 2020.
The Invictus Games are named after a poem titled “Invictus” by William Earnest Henley. The event’s website explains, “It embodies the fighting spirit of the wounded, injured and sick service personnel and what these tenacious men and women can achieve, post injury.”
The poem reads:
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
Around 500 participants from 18 countries compete in the games each year. In 2020, Belgium and the Republic of Korea will join other countries like the United States, Canada, Estonia, and Denmark.
The United States and the United Kingdom tend to display a bit of a rivalry that was on full display in 2016, when Harry and Queen Elizabeth recorded a video for Barack and Michelle Obama.
This year’s Invictus Games will take place May 9 to 16 and are sure to be exciting. Tickets to some events will be made available to the public, and you can often catch clips of the competitions online. Organizing the games is truly a wonderful thing for Prince Harry to have taken on, and his dedication to veterans is really a powerful thing.