TORONTO – The energy Prince Harry generated at the Invictus Games’ opening ceremony concert on Saturday night spilled over to Sunday, when the prince met with dozens of high-achieving Canadian youth at the presentation of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Gold Awards.
The mood on Sunday was more subdued and formal than at Saturday night’s concert, but the excitement was palpable as Prince Harry greeted award winners at the Fairmount Royal York hotel in Toronto.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards honour 14-to-24-year-olds who take on projects related to personal development and community involvement.
Prince Harry walked around the room and greeted the award recipients warmly, asking them questions about their achievements.
In a speech before the ceremony began, Ontario Lt.-Gov. Elizabeth Dowdeswell thanked Prince Harry for founding the Invictus Games, a multi-sport event for injured and sick soldiers.
Harry founded the Games in 2014 to motivate wounded soldiers through their recovery. Participants took part in track events on Sunday, with some athletes running and others in wheelchairs.
Dowdeswell also praised Harry’s grandfather, Prince Philip, for founding the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in 1963.
Prince Harry and the lieutenant-governor were also joined onstage by Lou Gizzarelli, Canada’s National President of the Awards.
More than 500,000 young Canadians are currently taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award program.