Prince Harry surprised a Second World War veteran with an impromptu meeting on Thursday, after a speech about wounded warriors moved a crowd to tears.
James Norman Baker, who is 101, paid tribute to the Prince at the Invictus Games, appearing on a stadium screen to thank him for giving wounded soldiers a reason to recover from their injuries.
After a standing ovation for the veteran, known as Norm, the Prince leapt from his seat and made a beeline to meet him in person.
Hearing his story of service for the Allied forces, he was seen to exclaim “fantastic” before thanking him for all he had done.
Speaking afterwards, Mr Baker, from Toronto, said: “I wanted to show the athletes my support and enjoy the games. See their spirit.
“They show amazing strength of character as well as body. I think they do a wonderful job.
“It’s important because without this, a lot of them would not be where they are today.
“It’s Prince Harry’s efforts that have encouraged them to find the competitive spirit, self-confidence and join in: make them feel as if they have a place in the world when they could have lost hope.”
Saying his own generation had “just had to do the best we could” to recover from war on their own, he added: “Some of them didn’t have anything to live for.
“Harry’s given them [this generation] that spirit.”
Asked about his conversation with the Prince at the wheelchair rugby event, he said modestly: “He thanked me.”
As he told Harry his own story, the Prince exclaimed “wow, that’s amazing, fantastic,” before checking Sgt Baker had a VIP seat for the rest of the wheelchair rugby game.
Mr Baker served with the Royal Regiment of Canada for four years. He was originally a company clerk for the regiment and not expected to fight, but saw action shortly after D-Day.
Mr Baker landed at Juno Beach six weeks after D-Day and was then part of the Allied Forces who moved through France, Belgium, Holland and Germany.
In 2012, he met with the Prince of Wales when Charles presented new colours to the Royal Regiment at Varsity City, Toronto.
Story: The Telegraph – 29 September 2017 – Hannah Furness