Prince Harry reveals visit to Colchester veterans with Meghan Markle

Do you know where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle recently visited in East Anglia? Picture: DOMINC LI

Do you know where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle recently visited in East Anglia? Picture: DOMINC LIPINSKI/PA WIRE - Credit: PA

Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle were left “shocked” by the stories they heard from military veterans during a private fact-finding visit to Colchester Garrison.

Giving a keynote speech to a conference about veterans’ mental health, Harry, who served as an army officer for 10 years, also said he witnessed the suffering of those around him “struggling to seek out the help they desperately need”.

The couple recently visited the garrison to learn more about the North Essex Veterans Mental Health Network, a collaboration between the NHS, Ministry of Defence and Third Sector, and met veterans, health professionals and other staff.

The prince said: “I have seen those I have served with suffer, struggling to seek out the help they desperately need. And we know there are more just like them who continue to suffer in silence.

“And when the individual doesn’t or can’t reach out for help, it is also their families who suffer; especially their spouses and children, who are left feeling desperate and confused as they try to seek appropriate help for the ones they love.”

Prince Harry delivers a keynote speech at the annual Veterans' Mental Health Conference at King's Co

Prince Harry delivers a keynote speech at the annual Veterans' Mental Health Conference at King's College London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 15, 2018. The event brings together leading academics, researchers, medical professionals and charities to discuss the key issues in military mental health. Picture: STEVE PARSONS/PA WIRE - Credit: PA

Harry served two tours of Afghanistan - first as a forward air controller, then as an Apache pilot - and went on to support the rehabilitation of wounded veterans and serving personnel most notably through his Invictus Games, an international Paralympic style sporting championship for those who have served.

He added: “Some of the stories Meghan and I heard when we visited Colchester Garrison a few weeks ago shocked us to our core. But despite meeting these people and others who are in the darkest of places, I am continually surrounded and inspired by amazingly positive outcomes.”

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Ahead of her May 19 wedding, Meghan has been making a series of private visits to organisations and charities to understand better some of the issues in the UK.

Harry said through his charitable support of veterans and the Invictus Games, he had been “privileged to witness the journey that many men and women have taken - from desperation and isolation, to amazing achievements, regaining self-worth, and finding community once more”.

“Any employer would be lucky to have them as part of your team - and that’s a fact.

“Serving your country makes you a better person for your family, community and country; increased confidence, discipline, teamwork, loyalty, and the ability to realise huge potential in yourself.”

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