Tearful fans watch inspiring veterans in Prince Harry's Netflix show

Tearful fans break down as they watch inspiring veterans in Prince Harry’s Heart of Invictus Netflix documentary (but some slam the Duke for ‘moaning about himself’)

  • All five episodes of the new series were released on the streaming service today 

Viewers say they have been left ‘in tears’ after watching ‘inspiring’ veterans in Prince Harry’s new Netflix documentary Heart of Invictus after it was released today.

Fans have praised the series for showcasing the men and women taking part in the Invictus Games after the new show followed them in their preparations for last years’ games in the Netherlands.

All five episodes were released on the streaming service at 8am in the UK, with the audience taking to social media to praise it for bringing the personal stories of the athletes to light.

Filmmakers followed wounded veterans from Britain, the USA, South Korea, Denmark and Ukraine and revealed their motivations for taking part as well as how they got on in the games themselves.

However, some have criticised the documentary after Harry appeared to ‘take a dig’ at the Royal Family when he said he had no support network after coming back from Afghanistan.

The new Netflix series Heart of Invictus follows veterans as they prepare for the Invictus Games last year in the Netherlands. Pictured: Prince Harry hands out gold medals after the wheelchair basketball final last year

It is the Sussexes second production as part of their £80million deal with Netflix, after releasing the controversial docu-series Harry & Meghan last year, which saw them launch several broadsides at Harry’s family as well as give their views on Megxit.

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The new series, which was filmed in 2022, turns the focus onto Harry’s efforts with the Invictus Games Foundation, the charity he founded to organise the sporting event for wounded and ill veterans.

People took to social media this morning after watching the first episode, with many remarking they were left in tears by the emotional stories of the participants.

Twitter user @sa_squaddie remarked: ‘Not me crying 5 minutes in. I don’t think I really ever think too deeply about veterans and what their families go through because I don’t personally know anyone in a real active army job. it’s not a big thing in my county but man…I’m glad I’m learning more #HeartOfInvictus.’

@Miss_BlackHippy added: ‘Watching this with goosebumps and watery eyes – That’s my review so far!’

@oloriogun_ wrote: ‘So far, so amazing #HeartOfInvictus on Netflix, what an inspiration these veterans are.’

@SarahPollock202 agreed, writing: ‘1st episode of Invictus down. Won’t give spoilers yet – but damn this is inspiring X.’

Meanwhile, @staciBran6 added: ‘I am currently watching #HeartOfInvictus. Honestly when I think about the military, I just think of them as soldiers trained in combat. But they are more than that they are human beings with families who love and care for them and them going through physical injuries, PTSD.’

Social media users praised the series and said the ‘inspirational’ wounded veterans left them in tears

During the new Invictus series, Harry talks in a segment about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and trauma in warzones, giving insight into his own experiences.

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The Duke goes onto say after his return from Afghanistan ‘the biggest struggle for me was no one around me really could help’

He added: ‘I didn’t have that support structure, that network or that expert advice to identify what was actually going on with me.

‘Unfortunately like most of us the first time you consider therapy is when you are lying on the floor in the foetal position probably wishing you had dealt with some of this stuff previously. And that’s what I really want to change.’

Some viewers criticised the show for appearing to thrust the spotlight back on Harry when veterans were talking about their experiences. 

@jerseydeanne wrote: ‘Thought the documentary is about veterans and not cry-baby Harry.’

@tracytaylor66 added: ‘Just seen a clip and I kind of thought it was a bit of a dig at the family too.’ 

The series featured only fleeting appearances from Harry’s wife, the Duchess of Sussex.

Some viewers complained that the part of the focus was on Harry and his struggles after coming back from Afghanistan

Meghan is seen speaking at the opening ceremony of the Games last year to introduce Harry to the stage.

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She says: ‘Thank you so much for your service and thank you to all the friends and the family that are here who’ve been supporting you along the way. Because this is service, this is dedication, and this is the Invictus family.

‘Please welcome my incredible husband, Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex.’

Meghan and Harry then share a kiss on stage as she hands over the microphone.

Anti-racism activist and social commentator Imarn Ayton said this could be a new move to help rebuild their brand in the UK after public opinion turned against them following the release of Harry & Meghan and the Duke’s tell-all memoir Spare earlier this year.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain today she said: ‘For Harry it does remind me of why I used to like him in the first place, it was very inspirational, I’ll give him that. 

‘But in terms of the re-brand I don’t think it’s actually going to work. In terms of the damage, I think that’s already been done.’

She added: ‘As much as these things are really helpful, like this particular documentary, it doesn’t negate the fact that the damage has been done. 

‘There will be forever a cohort within the UK and abroad that will forever associate this couple insincerity, betrayal and fuelling the culture wars and that is the issue. That stain doesn’t go anywhere.’

The series was released ahead of next month’s Invictus Games, which is taking place in Dusseldorf. Pictured: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex in the German city last year 

But Sky News royal correspondent Laura Bundock said Heart of Invictus was ‘very very different’ from Netflix’s earlier bombshell series, Harry & Meghan.

She said: ‘He talks about his own experience really being the reason that Invictus Games came about, it’s where it stemmed from, his own personal experience serving in the military and then of course his tour in Afghanistan which we now learnt did trigger the trauma of losing his mother aged 12.

‘Before you think ”Harry on Netflix, here we go again”, this is a very, very different series to what we’ve heard before.’

READ MORE HERE:  Prince Harry claims the media ‘did not cover’ British soldiers being wounded in Afghanistan as he discusses Press coverage of his deployment

She continued: ‘There have been a lot of sides to Harry, we’ve heard a lot of Harry, he’s exposed a lot of himself. But this is Harry on much more comfortable territory. Invictus Games is something that is very personal to him. It’s a cause he clearly cares about a lot and one he is keen to promote.

‘And after I think a year in which there has been a lot of negativity around things Harry has done, things Harry has said, this does feel perhaps like a positive step forward.

‘Even those who might have been critics of Harry in the past would certainly agree that the Invictus Games is a positive project from him, something that has achieved a huge amount – it is seen widely as a success story.’

Ms Bundock added: ‘As for the Royal Family, who are on holiday in Balmoral, this will be one Harry show they probably won’t mind watching.’

Meanwhile, GB News royal correspondent Cameron Walker said watching the series felt like ‘having the old Prince Harry back’.

‘It takes the focus off him, his problems and trauma, and puts the focus back on veterans,’ he said.

‘It’s perhaps why we see the Prince and Princess of Wales being quite so popular with the British public – they shine the spotlight off themselves and onto their charity work.

‘And that’s what we’re seeing with Prince Harry now within this documentary.’

He added: ‘There is a very little bit of Meghan. She’s very much in the background in a supporting role. It’s Harry giving the interviews.

‘Prince Harry avoids the fact that he is a member of the Royal Family within this documentary. And the question for Netflix is, well, is this going to rate?’

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