Prince Harry Awards ‘Soldier of the Year’ from Montecito Estate

Prince Harry did not travel far to give Military Times’ renowned “Soldier of the Year” award on Thursday.

The Duke of Sussex honored his “friend” Sergeant First Class Elizabeth Marks in the backyard of his $14 million Montecito property with Meghan Markle.

In a “special presentation” of the prize, Harry called the US military medic, a four-time Invictus Games gold medalist and five-time Paralympic medalist, a “beacon of inspiration.”

Sgt. Marks, 33, sustained bilateral hip injuries while stationed in Iraq in 2010. She was deployed at the age of seventeen.

In the congratulations video, Harry sported a black jacket over a fresh white shirt and red tie. He also proudly displayed four military medals on his chest.

“I first met Sgt. First Class Elizabeth Marks at the Invictus Games in Orlando 2016, where I presented her with not one, but four gold medals that she’d won in swimming,” the Duke remarked in a film shown by Military Times.

“To me, she exemplifies the tenacity, resilience, and determination that characterize our service community. And it’s not just because of her swimming skills.”

He complimented his friend for “turning her pain into purpose,” saying she demonstrated that “the impossible is indeed possible.”

The father of two went on to say, “Despite the injuries she sustained while serving as a medical assistant in Iraq, as well as numerous surgeries and setbacks that would have discouraged many, she has persevered tirelessly, becoming the first woman in the Army’s world-class athlete program and the first swimmer in the program’s history.

“She’s also taken her recovery a step further, using her experiences and achievements to inspire and assist others in their mental and physical journey into sport, ensuring those who can’t see a way out or through are introduced to the medicine of sport that saved her too.”

For the show, Harry wore his Operational Service Medal for Afghanistan, which he won in 2008 for his service in Helmand Province.

Next to it hung the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, which he got in 2002 after five years of active duty.

Harry also donned the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, which was given to members of the emergency services, armed forces, prison service, and royal household. He received it in 2012.

Finally, the runaway royal received the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee honor, her fourth honor.

In 2014, Harry founded the Invictus Games, a multi-sport Paralympic-style competition for wounded or injured service members and veterans.

The king was planning to travel to his native country in May to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Invictus Games.

Insiders say Harry is reconsidering his decision due to concerns about his safety after losing taxpayer-funded security in the UK.

Although Harry’s trip has not been confirmed, celebrations are expected to take place in St. Paul’s Cathedral.

It’s unknown if the trip will be another solo venture, coming after his February 24-hour dash.

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