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Prince Harry surprises audience at Netflix screening of Heart Of Invictus in US

Prince Harry at the Netflix screening ( Instagram/@dtopk9)
Prince Harry at the Netflix screening ( Instagram/@dtopk9)

The Duke of Sussex has appeared at a special US screening of his new Netflix documentary, Heart Of Invictus.

The docu-series, which was launched in the UK at 8am on Wednesday, follows a group of service members on their road to the paralympic-style sporting competition which Harry set up in 2014 for injured and sick military personnel and veterans.

A camera crew for the project joined Harry and his wife Meghan when they visited the Games in The Hague in the Netherlands in 2022.

During a special screening of the five-part series in California, Harry emerged to introduce it, to the surprise of the audience.

In a video circulating on social media, Harry was heard talking about the sacrifices that veterans and their families make while serving their country.

He also said: “Tonight, you guys get to see Heart Of Invictus – which has been the last two years in the making – sooner than anybody else, so it will be coming out on Wednesday.

“You guys get to watch it tonight – or at least two episodes – to whet the appetite for the rest of it.”

In the first 45-minute episode of the series, Army veteran Harry, who undertook two tours of Afghanistan, discusses how he never wanted to serve in the armed Forces as a father.

The duke, who is father to Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet, chatting during a hike with his friends, former Invictus competitors JJ Chalmers and David Wiseman, says: “I’ve always had myself down as being the dad that I could never be serving while having kids. And you both did, right?

“It’s never the individual signing up – it’s the whole family signing up.”

Wiseman says his wife Lucy was pregnant when he was shot and injured in Afghanistan.

The series begins with a scene from July 2021 with Harry welcoming Chalmers and Wiseman with hugs and “Morning lads” at what appears to be his home in Montecito, California.

Harry says: “Shall we go for a hike?” as the trio get into a car driven by the duke.

Harry is then seen sitting in a chair, facing the camera, saying: “Here we are.”

An interviewer asks: “What’s your name?” and the duke replies: “My name’s Harry.”

He is then asked: “What do you do, Harry?”, and the duke replies: “What do I do? Er… on any given day, I’m a dad of two under-three-year-olds.

“I’ve got a couple of dogs. (I’m) A husband. I’m founding patron of Invictus Games Foundation.

“There’s lots of hats that one wears, but I believe today is all about Invictus.”

The Duchess of Sussex first appears in behind-the-scenes footage from November 2021 when the couple attended the Salute to Freedom gala in New York.

Harry confides in his wife about his nerves as they walk hand in hand along a red carpet into the event, saying: “We haven’t done this in a while.”

Meghan, dressed in a red Carolina Herrera gown, replies: “I know.”

Harry adds: “My heart… I’m like (making a noise like a rapid heart beat) – I’m nervous.”

The duke is also shown anxiously pacing around a room as he waits to take to the stage at the gala which honoured military veterans.

The duke was executive producer of the series, which forms part of the Sussexes’ multimillion-pound deal with Netflix – with their main output so far being last year’s controversial Harry & Meghan documentary.

The six-part series last December saw the duke and duchess shed light on their troubled life within the royal family, and accuse Kensington Palace of lying at the Megxit summit to protect Harry’s brother William, and father Charles, now King.

Meanwhile, the couple’s other lucrative media deal – with Spotify – ended in June after one season of Meghan’s podcast Archetypes.

Heart of Invictus has been released in the run-up to next month’s Invictus Games in Dusseldorf, Germany.

The series, which was first announced more than two years ago, has been made by Harry and Meghan’s Archewell Productions company.

It is directed by Orlando von Einsiedel and produced by Joanna Natasegara, who worked together on the Oscar-winning short The White Helmets.

Harry is set to travel to Germany for the entirety of the next tournament, which begins on September 9, while Meghan will join him shortly after the games begin.