- Prince Harry appeared on Strictly Come Dancing, the U.K. equivalent of Dancing With the Stars, on Saturday.
- Harry video-called contestant JJ Chalmers, a former Marine, Invictus Games medalist, and close friend of the Duke of Sussex.
- "I’m so genuinely proud," Harry told Chalmers.
Well, this was unexpected! Prince Harry made a surprise appearance on BBC reality show Strictly Come Dancing, the British equivalent of Dancing With the Stars, on Saturday evening, in order to cheer on contestant JJ Chalmers (pictured above), a close friend of the royal.
Chalmers, a former Royal Marine who suffered severe injuries in Afghanistan, met Harry through the Invictus Games, the international sporting competition for wounded service members that Harry established in 2014. Chalmers won three medals in the inaugural games before becoming an ambassador for the event, and became close friends with the Duke of Sussex, even attending his wedding to Meghan Markle in 2018, as USA Today reports.
Harry video-called Chalmers in the midst of the veteran's training session with professional dancer Amy Dowden, offering him support in his Strictly Come Dancing journey and reflecting on their friendship. "When I first met JJ, he was a shell of himself,” Harry said, as the Independent reports. "But then to see you shine through Invictus and to become like yourself again—that was the start of an amazing journey."
"I'm so genuinely proud," Harry continued. "You’re not a dancer, proving that you can do anything you put your mind to, which is amazing."
Chalmers, meanwhile, spoke about the transformative impact of the Invictus Games—and his friendship with Prince Harry—on his life after the military. "The simple fact is, if Prince Harry had not created the Invictus Games I would not have had that catalyst moment that changed my life forever," he said. "I wouldn't be here without him."