The Duke of Sussex could not resist the attentions of an ex-soldier’s friendly dog when he met members of the Netherlands’ Invictus Games team on their home soil.
When Harry was told Rhone, a black labrador, was a “working dog” he shied away from the animal which is a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) buddy for former tank driver Joyce van den Waardenburg.
They met when Harry was introduced to leading figures from Dutch society after attending a major Aids conference in Amsterdam.
Despite being warned the two-year-old dog was out of bounds, he soon gave her a playful stoke under the chin and Rhone looked back at her owner, almost in astonishment.
Ms van den Waardenburg, 35, who developed PTSD after serving in Iraq, said about her buddy dog: “She loves people, so whether it’s a prince or somebody else, she’s happy to see them.
“For me, meeting the duke, it was recognition of everything I’ve been through and want to achieve.”
She is part of the Dutch team for the Invictus Games, the Paralympic-style sporting festival for wounded or sick servicemen and women and veterans, which was founded by Harry. Sydney is to host the Games this autumn.
The Netherlands will be hosts in 2020 and Harry joked with other members of the team during the reception in an arts venue in Amsterdam: “Now that you’re hosting you have to try and win everything.”
The former tank driver replied: “I’m going to train like hell.”