'Bowled over': Prince Harry makes surprise video appearance with 'DoS' name on Zoom call

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Prince Harry congratulates amputee after Triathlon of Britain

The Duke of Sussex reached out to former Royal Marine Lee Spencer after he could not complete a triathlon challenge across the UK. The two veterans discussed the epic effort Mr Spencer, who had one leg amputated, aimed to carry out. 

Mr Spencer shared a clip from his video call with the Duke on Instagram, where he confessed he had been “bitterly disappointed” he had to end the triathlon early and felt he had let down his supporters.

However, he added, Harry’s “very kind words” helped him process his feelings and start to see the positives.

In the clip published on the video and image-sharing social media platform, the Duke told Mr Spencer: “You basically cycled the whole of the UK and climbed two mountains and only after that did your stump start to give you a few issues to the point where you had to pull out of the very last phase of it, but you’ve put so much into this.”

Harry, who was speaking from his home in Montecito and appeared on screen with the name “DoS”, short for Duke of Sussex, continued: “I know you’re not happy, but I hope that you feel really proud of yourself to have done what you’ve done, and I don’t dare ask what’s next or whether this is now the goal this is the task, to complete this challenge.” 

Prince Harry in a video call

Prince Harry video called a veteran (Image: LEE SPENCER_RM/INSTAGRAM)

Veteran Lee Spencer during the video call

Lee Spencer speaking to Prince Harry via video link (Image: LEE SPENCER_RM/INSTAGRAM)

Mr Spencer, who served 24 years with the Royal Marines and did three tours in Afghanistan, has been raising funds and awareness for disabled veterans for years.

He became the first physically disabled person to row solo and unsupported across the Atlantic from Europe to South America.

His latest challenge, which aimed at raising money for The Royal Marines Charity and proving no one should be defined by disability, had never been attempted before.

It combined swimming across the English Channel, cycling from Lands’ End to John O’Groats and climbing the three highest peaks in England, Scotland and Wales.

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Prince Harry speaking during a video call

Prince Harry’s screen name during the video call was ‘DoS’ (Image: LEE SPENCER_RM/INSTAGRAM)

After he was marred by bad weather during the swimming part of the challenge, Mr Spencer also had issues with his prosthetic while cycling.

During their video call, Mr Spencer told Harry: “For me, it’s always been about getting the message right, not defined by disability, but keeping wounded, injured servicemen and women in the nation’s conscience.

“They’re the two things that were primary.”

He added he he “almost certainly” going to try this gruesome challenge again, before adding: “Every amputation, every injury, is unique and every prosthetic and how it fits every person.


Prince Harry in Afghanistan

Prince Harry served two tours in Afghanistan (Image: GETTY)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wearing an Invictus Games shirt

Prince Harry created the Invictus Games in 2014 (Image: GETTY)

“So someone out there might be able to do it, but I definitely do have to do something that I think matters.”

Harry, who served 10 years in the Army and did two tours in Afghanistan, also told the fellow veteran: “There is a scale of things that matter, there is a scale of things that matter to you and that matter to other people, to the Marines, to your community, there is a whole list of options.

“You have started so extremely that I think you only ever thought ‘If I started there, I can only go here, here and here’, whereas there is this whole area that you can play in as well.

“Well, you may not have completed this one but you certainly achieved it in my mind, so well done and thanks for spending the time to have a quick chat with me and good to see you looking so well and healthy and smiley and happy and keep me posted, I am already excited for the next little venture.

“Little, venture, not massive!”

A selection of pictures of Prince Harry

Prince Harry’s life in pictures (Image: EXPRESS)

While he did not complete his challenge, Mr Spencer was still hugely successful in raising thousands of pounds for The Royal Marines Charity, which provides long-term support to families of marines.

The four-time Guinness World Record breaker had already spoken with Harry in the past.

In 2018, ahead of his attempt to row unaided across the Atlantic to raise awareness for the Endeavour Fund, Mr Spencer met Harry in person.

The Endeavour Fund has granted more than £3million in support of mover than 6,000 wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans to re-engage with sport and adventurous challenges after sustaining injuries or illnesses in the military.

Prince Harry with the Invictus Games's motto 'I Am' behind him

Prince Harry served in the Army for 10 years (Image: GETTY)

It was co-founded by the Duke of Sussex in 2012 as the co-patron of The Royal Foundation with Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge.

In June 2020, it was announced the Fund had been transferred from the Foundation to the Invictus Games, another initiative created by the Duke in support of wounded, sick and injured veterans and Army men and women.

The Games were first launched in 2014 and have since taken place give times.

The next edition will be hosted in Dusseldorf, Germany, in September 2023.

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