Prince Harry shared some light moments with a handsome two-year-old black Labrador Jester, who was at the Buckingham Palace for the unveiling of the UK team for the 2016 Invictus Games. The Paralympic-style sporting competition for wounded servicemen and women will be held in Orlando, Florida, U.S. from May 8-12. The team consists of 110 wounded, injured and sick serving military personnel and veterans, who came to the palace on Wednesday.
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) April 6, 2016
Harry, who is the patron and driving force behind the Invictus Games Foundation, met the team and posed for an official photograph. The British royal took so much fancy to Jester that he bent down and tickled him. The friendly canine kept on barking and belongs to former royal marine Jon Flint, from Midhurs, who is going to represent the country in swimming and archery.
Jester has been trained to help Jon if he falls, picks up items he has dropped and even assists with daily chores. “He's not the first of my dogs to do that. My previous dog, Varick, who died suddenly last year disgraced himself at last year's press conference by barking all the way through Prince Harry's speech,” said Jon.
He added that Harry was lucky as Jester did not roll on his back for anyone. Meanwhile, army captain David Wiseman has been named the U.K. team’s captain for 2016. He has fought in Afghanistan in 2009.
The 31-year-old Harry launched the Invictus Games in London in 2014. For the first time, the games are moving to the U.S. and will be held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in May. Tickets for the games are available here. A total of 500 competitors from 15 nations will compete in ten sports, including wheelchair rugby and sitting volleyball. This year a new sport has been added, wheelchair tennis.
Harry earlier admitted in 2014, during an interview with BBC that he had stolen the idea from the Warrior Games in America. Besides, in an interview with “Good Morning America” Harry explained that he felt compelled to support veterans following his own experiences in the army. Meanwhile, the Buckingham Palace event also marked the official handover of the Invictus Games flag from Prince Harry to the U.S. team captain Will Reynolds, signifying the handover from London to Orlando.