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The first Invictus Games kicks off

Wounded servicemen and women are set to compete for the first set of medals in track and field events at the inaugural Invictus Game today.

Prince Harry officially opened the Games last night. Credit: REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

Declaring the Games open, Prince Harry praised competitors, many still serving soldiers, from around the globe for their stories that "move, inspire and humble" as he launched the event last night.

The Prince was introduced by US First Lady Michelle Obama in a video message which was broadcast to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Stadium in east London.

Michelle Obama told the competitors they were "incredible". Credit: REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

The Games is inspired by the US Warrior Games, which the Prince vowed to bring to the UK.

Teams from 13 nations are now set to compete over the next four days in a range of sports.

The competition will begin at Lee Valley Athletics Centre with athletics, culminating in the 4x100m relay, before other sports such as wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby and swimming follow later in the week.

Royals attend Invictus Games launch ceremony

Prince Harry has launched the Invictus Games, which celebrates the sacrifices of servicemen and women from around the world.

More than 400 wounded soldiers who will be competing in the Paralympic-style games paraded in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London.

The Duke of Cambridge, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Prince of Wales and Prince Harry during the opening ceremony of The Invictus Games. Credit: PA

Veterans from around the world will go head to head in nine adaptive sports competitions, inspired by the US Warrior Games, which will take place over the next four days.

Harry was joined at the moving, military-themed ceremony by Charles, Camilla and William as well as 6,500 others including Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

Missing was the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge who is still suffering from morning sickness and will be absent from tomorrow's opening athletics events.


London set for official opening of the Invictus Games

Prince Harry's inaugural Invictus Games will officially open tonight with a military-themed ceremony at the home of the London 2012 Olympics.

The opening ceremony for the Games for injured servicemen and women will feature an performance of the official anthem penned by Coldplay's Chris Martin as well as a flypast from the Red Arrows.

Prince Harry addresses the audience at the Invictus Games welcome reception in Regent's Park, London. Credit: Geoff Pugh/Daily Telegraph/PA Wire

The 5,000-strong audience will include Prince Harry, the Duke of Cambridge, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.

It is not known whether the Duchess of Cambridge will attend after she announced earlier this week that she is suffering from acute morning sickness with the pregnancy of her second child.

Obama salutes Invictus athletes ahead of Games

US President Barack Obama has praised those competing in the Invictus Games in a special video message.

The President said he knew it would be "fiercely competitive few days" as teams from around the world prepared for the Paralympics-style championships.

"The truth is that everyone of you in these Games, every service member and veteran, has already earned our highest admiration and our deepest gratitude," Obama said.

"When your countries asked you to serve, to risk everything to protect our safety and our freedom, you and your families answered the call and just as you inspire us with your courage on the battlefield, your grit and resilience when you take the playing field, your incomparable souls inspire us today."

Prince Harry: Invictus Games not about supporting war

Prince Harry says the Invictus Games are about supporting the individuals taking part and not the war.

Some 400 wounded service personnel from 13 countries are taking part in the Games, an international sporting event for wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women.

Harry has championed the Games with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also supporting them.


Harry feeling 'young at heart' ahead of 30th birthday

Prince Harry has said he feels 'young at heart' ahead of turning 30 on September 15.

Speaking after presenting medals at the Invictus Games, he said: 'I'm slowly starting to feel old. I think 30 is one of those first milestones when you drive through a village and see the 30mph sign. It's that constant reminder going 'I am actually quite old'.

'But I don't feel too old. I think i'm always young at heart', the Prince added.

New Prince Harry wax figure unveiled

A new wax model of Prince Harry has gone on display at Madame Tussauds in London to celebrate his 30th birthday.

The new figure shows the Prince in combat uniform to reflect his job as a captain in the Army Air Corps.

The new wax model of the Prince reflects his military career. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

The figure cost £150,000 and took a team of sculptors and artists four months to create.

Harry to welcome Invictus captains ahead of Games

The countdown to the Invictus Games begins later today when Prince Harry welcomes team captains from across the globe to London.

The competition for wounded servicemen and women, both serving and veterans, has attracted 12 foreign teams and a UK contingent who will compete in the four-day event, which begins on Thursday.

Prince Harry will welcome team captains from across the globe today ahead of the Invictus Games. Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire

The Games will also be supported by Harry's immediate family with the Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attending heats and matches in the run up to the main event.

More than 400 competitors will go head-to-head in nine adaptive sports at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and Lee Valley Athletics Centre in London.

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