Prince Harry Sends Encouraging Message to Disabled Veteran
Prince Harry surprised a disabled British veteran in a special way.
Lance Cpl. Stephan Van Niekerk, 36, of Taunton in Somerset, appeared on a recent episode of the National Geographic renovation show “Car S.O.S” and was able to get his Jeep Grand Cherokee restored, according to People.
During the episode, which aired earlier this month, Harry, 38, was seen in a video message congratulating Van Niekerk, who lost his left leg in 2009 after stepping on an IED while stationed in Afghanistan. His right leg was also amputated and he suffered other injuries, according to Just Rifles.co.uk.
“Hi, Stephan, congratulations,” the Duke of Sussex told Van Niekerk. “I hope at this point you’re sitting in your brand new — or certainly what looks like a brand new — Jeep. Good on you, mate, well done — fully, fully, fully deserved.”
He added, “I can’t think of anyone that deserves this more than you.”
Harry then called Van Niekerk “the definition of inspiration” after getting injured “at such a young age” following two tours in Afghanistan.
“Because you are not defined by your injury. You are defined by your selflessness to others, to your community, your inspirational talks to young people, and of course, to your four kids, and your amazing wife, Sadie, who no doubt has got you this far, ” he said.
Continuing, he said, “So full respect, well done, you.”
Harry also mentioned Van Niekerk’s plan to cycle “a mere 2,745 miles” taking him from Canada to Mexico to raise money for a charity called Blesma. Blesma enables “limbless veterans to lead independent and fulfilling lives,” according to its website.
“Good luck with that. I know you’re going to do it. I know you’re going to smash it. I know you’re going to raise a load of money for Blesma as well,” he said.
He proceeded to congratulate Van Niekerk again and thanked him for his “continued service and commitment to others.”
“I’m sure your whole family is incredibly proud of you. I’m proud of you,” Harry said as Van Niekerk got emotional.
He continued, “We’re all proud of you. There’s a reason you were chosen for this. So, yeah, saddle up and enjoy your new wheels and then make sure you get as fit as you can for this next huge adventure that’s coming your way.”
He concluded the video by telling Van Niekerk he would love to meet him personally “even if it’s over a Zoom.”
“But, um, yeah, full respect, man. Well done, love it, and yeah, catch you soon,” Harry shared.
He ended the video with, “Cheers.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.