Prince Harry’s Invictus Games will return for their sixth year next month in Düsseldorf, Germany. The games will begin on 9 September and last for eight days, with both the Duke and Duchess of Sussex set to attend.
The Invictus Games were created back in 2013, after Prince Harry took a trip to see the Warrior Games in the United States. There, he saw how sports could help wounded veterans in their recovery, whether it be physically, socially, or mentally.
Prince Harry then came up with the idea to hold his own international version, which he called the Invictus Games, for “wounded, injured and sick Service personnel,” according to the royal family website. The name came from the meaning of invictus which is a synonym for unconquered.
"I have witnessed first-hand how the power of sport can positively impact the lives of wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women in their journey of recovery,” Harry said when announcing the games. “The Invictus Games will focus on what they can achieve post injury and celebrate their fighting spirit, through an inclusive sporting competition that recognises the sacrifice they have made.”
The games were created with the help of the duke’s then-charity, The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, and the Ministry of Defense.
"I am extremely proud that we are bringing an event like this to the UK for the first time and believe it can have a long lasting impact on the well-being of those who have served their nations so bravely,” he said ahead of the inaugural games in 2014.
The first games were held in London in 2014. Since then, the games have also been held in the US, Canada, Australia, and the Netherlands. This year’s games will take place in Düsseldorf, Germany.
Although Prince Harry has been attending the games since their creation, his wife, Meghan Markle, did not begin making an appearance until 2017.
Recently, royal commentator Omid Scobie said in a tweet shared on Wednesday (24 August) that a spokesperson for the couple had confirmed the pair are “delighted to be attending” the sporting event next month.
Scobie said: “A spokesperson confirms that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are ‘delighted to be attending’ the Invictus Games 2023 in Düsseldorf next month.
“Harry will be there from the start and Meghan will join him later on in the competition. They’ll both be at the closing ceremony.”
Before arriving in Germany for the games, Harry will be attending an awards ceremony on 7 September in the UK, where he is set to give a speech for the charity WellChild. As the event coincides with the one-year anniversary of his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II’s death, he is not expected to run into any of his family members, who are at Balmoral Castle.
The last time Harry was seen among the rest of his family was in May, when he attended his father’s coronation at Westminster Abbey.
According to The Telegraph, Harry’s return to the UK might mean he will have to ask Buckingham Palace for permission to stay in an apartment on one of the royal estates after the Sussexes were evicted from their UK residence, Frogmore Cottage, earlier this year.
As for Meghan, she is expected to fly straight from California to Germany for the games and not accompany her husband to the UK.
The Independent has contacted a representative for the Sussexes for comment.
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