Harry makes surprise appearance at sports awards hours after losing legal challenge

It was the second video message the duke appeared in on Wednesday. Credit: PA

The Duke of Sussex has made a surprise appearance on screen at the Sport Gives Back Awards in honour of a triple amputee Afghanistan veteran.

Harry paid tribute, in a video message played at the event in London, to Invictus medal-winning cyclist and fellow former soldier Josh Boggi, who won the Unconquered category.

It was Harry’s second video appearance on Wednesday, coming on the same day he lost a High Court challenge against the Home Office over a decision to change the level of his personal security when he visits the UK.

The duke, who also recorded an earlier message appealing for nominations for the WellChild Awards, is to seek to appeal against the ruling, with his lawyers saying Harry “hopes he will obtain justice”.

It was revealed at the High Court that Harry said he faced a greater risk than his late mother Diana, Princess of Wales, with “additional layers of racism and extremism”, in a letter he previously wrote to the then-Cabinet Secretary expressing his “disbelief” over his security arrangements.

And it emerged that US authorities concluded there was enough evidence to arrest two people for “reckless endangerment” after the Sussexes said they experienced a “near-catastrophic” car chase in New York involving paparazzi in 2023.

The royal family has had a difficult start to 2024, with the King being treated for cancer, the Princess of Wales undergoing abdominal surgery and the sudden death, announced on Tuesday, of Lady Gabriella Kingston’s husband Thomas Kingston at the age of 45.

Harry, who undertook two frontline tours in Afghanistan, praised Mr Boggi for being the “personifation of resilience”.

Winner of the Unconquered Award Josh Boggi. Credit: PA

“Josh, you are a truly remarkable human,” the duke said.

“You served your country and completed three tours of Afghanistan. You were blown up, suffering a broken back and the loss of three limbs. You cycled across America and won several Invictus Games medals.”

He described how Mr Boggi nearly died again in an accident, when he collided with a truck, then contracted sepsis, but celebrated his own survival by jumping out of a plane to skydive twice over Nepal.

Harry added: “Josh. You are the winner of the Invictus Games Foundation Unconquered award. Congratulations mate."

He described Mr Boggi as an “integral part” of the Invictus Games team.

The duke, who was filmed outside and dressed in an open-necked shirt and beige jacket, described the mission of Invictus over the last 10 years as trying to help wounded, sick and injured personnel and veterans redefine “purpose through a continued sense of service”.

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Mr Boggi was an army corporal when he lost both legs and his right arm after stepping on an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan in 2010.

He went on to develop a love of cycling during his recovery, and now works with other wounded and sick service personnel.

Mr Boggi, who met Harry and the now-Prince of Wales at a Help the Heroes Recovery Centre in 2013, competed in the Invitus Games, founded by Harry, and is now Invictus’s community liaison executive.

He also completed the 3,000-mile Race Across America team cycling challenge in record time and became the first triple amputee rescue scuba diver.

The awards celebrate the work of charities, organisations and individuals who change lives through sport.

Harry took legal action after being told he would no longer be given the 'same degree' of publicly-funded protection when in the country. Credit: PA

Stars Sir Mo Farah, Dame Kelly Holmes, Frank Lampard and Ellie Simmonds were among those who attended.

The Sport Gives Back ceremony will be broadcast on ITV on Sunday March 24.

In his WellChild message, Harry, the charity’s patron, hailed the “extraordinary strength and spirit” of young people with complex medical conditions.

He looked relaxed in a grey shirt and wearing his leather cord necklace in the video which appeared to have been filmed at his home in California.

The duke urged the public to put forward the names of the “remarkable individuals who inspire you” for WellChild’s 2024 awards.

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