The Duke of Sussex has described his newborn son Archie as giving him a new focus and goal as he wore a jacket declaring “I am daddy” on a visit to the Netherlands.
Prince Harry spoke to former soldier Dennis van der Stroom, 31, as he took a break from paternity leave to visit The Hague on Thursday for the one year countdown to the Invictus Games to be held there.
Van der Stroom, who served in the army from 2006 to 2011, said: “Harry talked about how having a small child was his new focus and new goal and I told him how a couple of months ago, I was struggling with my mental health but my wife’s pregnancy has given me a goal.
“Above all he said he was just amazed by the miracles in the world, and how his child has made a lot of people happy.
“He also told me he’s really happy that his son is so far very quiet.”
Van der Stroom, who hopes to compete in the Netherlands Invictus team in track and field and sitting volleyball, said they also talked about losing a mother.
He said: “He said missing a mother is like missing some kind of security, how you need that as a son and it falls away when you lose your mother.”
Prince Harry wore a jacket embroidered with the words Invictus Family Daddy, with I Am Daddy highlighted in yellow, and tried out archery and cycling at the event on Thursday, a day after he and the Duchess of Sussex showed off Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor to the world at a Windsor Castle photo call.
Former Royal Marine and Invictus Games medallist JJ Chalmers said Prince Harry had described fatherhood as “amazing” but “hard work” when they spoke at the launch event.
“He said that (Archie) slept for the first 24 hours like all babies do … and then he woke up,” he said.
Chalmers, who has been friends with Prince Harry since the first Games in 2014, said: “I see the guy with a buzzing smile on his face still.”.
“Like any father he lights up even more when he speaks about his son and how proud he is of his wife and what she’s doing right now in his absence.”
After a short speech in which he praised the determination and courage of the competitors, Prince Harry was presented with a special Invictus Games babygro for his son by Princess Margriet of the Netherlands.
He drew laughs from the crowd by holding it against himself to model it.
As well as the babygro, Prince Harry was presented with gifts including a new soft rattle toy, some newborn socks with I Love Daddy written on them and a stuffed toy bird.
Wellwishers gathered to greet the new father as he arrived at the Sportscampus in Zuiderpark, some with more gifts, including a teddy and a piggy bank in the shape of a corgi, for the new royal addition.
Prince Harry said he was “delighted” to be in the Netherlands for the occasion and praised competitors of the games, which he launched in 2014 for injured, wounded and sick servicemen and women.
He called on the country to make the games its own and said: “We chose you for a reason, and it wasn’t just because I like the colour orange!”
He posed for pictures with Invictus Games competitors before leaving at about 2.30pm to head home to his wife and son.