Published On: Thu, Sep 14th, 2023
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‘Petty’ Royals accused of ‘ignoring’ veterans due to Harry rift | Royal | News

Senior Royals have been accused of ignoring British Armed Forces veterans competing in the Invictus Games because of the family’s ongoing rift with Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle.

Athletes and veterans have expressed frustration that there has been little acknowledgement of the event, which is being held in Germany, from Royals other than the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. A media strategist said that this perceived snub leaves the palace looking “mean-spirited and petty”.

“The ill will against Harry should not be held against the Invictus competitors,” said the PR expert. And former Royal Marine Ben McBean – the double-amputee Afghanistan veteran who inspired Harry to launch the games – said other Royals “should have just given the lads a shout-out”.



While RM McBean said he saw “both sides” of the rift between Harry and his brother William, the Prince of Wales, he slammed the lack of support for veterans at the event. He told a national; newspaper: “It’s like when we went to Afghanistan, no one supported the war, but they supported the troops. It’s the same thing.”

However, palace sources have reportedly said that members of the Royal family do not involve themselves in each other’s professional endeavours. It was suggested that Harry would not be expected to voice support for William’s environmentalism campaign, the Earthshot Prize – and so other royals have left Invictus to the Duke.

But the situation has reportedly caused frustration among some of the British athletes competing at the games. They note that public figures – including senior members of the Royal family – are quick to send good wishes to those competing in other international sporting events.

An official with the UK team told The Telegraph that, despite Invictus getting bigger every year, it was felt there could be more support back home. Especially when there had been a notable focus on sport among the Royal family in the past week.

William and Kate both attended Rugby World Cup matches in France recently and took part in Mike Tindall’s podcast, The Good, the Bad and the Rugby, alongside the Princess Royal.

The Prince and Princess of Wales were once keen supporters Invictus Games and were involved in its early success. Their Royal Foundation – then shared with the Harry – even donated money to the event.

However, the perceived lack of interest from Royals now has been noticed by the veterans taking part. A team inside told The Telegraph: “The athletes find it bizarre but don’t want to get caught up in the royal crossfire.”

And a media strategist, who asked not to be named, told the newspaper that the palace’s approach towards the Sussexes could be summed up as “ignore and distract”.

He said: “It’s ironic Buckingham Palace has had more to say about the Highland Games than the Invictus Games, despite the honorary military roles they hold.

“In doing so, the palace ends up looking mean-spirited and petty. The ill will against Harry should not be held against the Invictus competitors.”

The comments came as Meghan and Harry cheered on athletes among the crowds at the Invictus Games, after walking in hand-in-hand yesterday (Wednesday, September 13). The Sussexes were seen sitting side-by-side clapping – and also reacting to the game tensely, as they watched the wheelchair basketball with Australia supporters on Wednesday morning in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Harry hugged a competitor and shook hands with another during the morning. The pair were all smiles as they held hands while walking in the Merkur Spiel-Arena, Harry in an Invictus Games polo top and trousers and Meghan wearing a black top with white shorts and a white cardigan with gold buttons.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex handed out medals to children on the basketball court and the couple also posed for photographs with others at the event. It comes after Meghan arrived late at the Invictus Games on Tuesday, saying she had to spend more time getting their “little ones settled at home”.

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