Looking Back at Jill Biden's Relationship with Prince Harry

The two first met when Biden was second lady

Jill Biden; Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex
Dr. Jill Biden (left), Prince Harry. Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images; Chris Jackson/Getty Images

First Lady Dr. Jill Biden and Prince Harry teamed up last week to honor wounded veterans, hosting a virtual event on Sept. 13 that honored Warrior Games athletes, their families and caregivers. But it wasn't the first time the two have worked together.

In fact, Biden, 70, and the Duke of Sussex, 37, have a lengthy history of camaraderie, beginning when the now-first lady was serving as second lady of the United States.

Here's a look back at how Harry and Biden's bond began and has evolved.

Harry's 2013 U.S. Tour

Biden, then serving as second lady under President Barack Obama, first met Harry during the prince's 2013 U.S. tour when he attended a reception for American and British wounded service members.

Harry has credited his visit to the Warrior Games in Colorado during that 2013 trip as the inspiration behind his Invictus Games. He founded the Paralympic-style competition for wounded, sick and injured veterans and armed forces members in 2014.

The 2020 Invictus Games had to be canceled amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 Invictus Games had to be postponed and will now kick off in the Hague, Netherlands, from April 16 to 22 in 2022.

Joe Biden, Jill Biden and <a href="https://people.com/tag/prince-harry/" data-inlink="true">Prince Harry</a>
Joe Biden, Jill Biden and Prince Harry in 2017. Chris Jackson/Getty

Cheering Together

Then-Second Lady Biden traveled to London to cheer on the U.S. team at the inaugural Invictus Games in 2014.

She also attended Harry's Invictus Games when they were held in Orlando, Florida, in 2016 and again in Toronto in 2017, where she was joined by her husband, Joe Biden.

In 2016, then-Vice President Biden told reporters how his wife had attended the inaugural tournament in London, joking that "she spent too much damn time with Prince Harry."

He also joked about how easily the pair had hit it off, saying at the time, "I read in the Guardian, or one of them, and it says — I'm paraphrasing — 'everywhere Prince Harry went, he had this blonde woman on his arm.' The vice-president's wife! I'm a little worried here, you know what I mean?"

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At the virtual Warrior Games event held last week, Dr. Biden spoke highly of Harry, specifically citing his military service and work with veterans.

"You live by a simple principle: Serve together, recover together," Dr. Biden said. "It's a philosophy not limited by the flag you wave ... you've dedicated your time, talents and heart to lifting up service members from around the globe.

Dr. Biden continued: "In fact, it's hard to believe it's been seven years since the first Invictus Games in London. The memories of it are still so fresh in my mind. Every race and game more thrilling than the last."

jill biden <a href="https://people.com/tag/prince-harry/" data-inlink="true">prince harry</a>
Jill Biden (left), Prince Harry. youtube

Honoring Competitors

The Sept. 13 virtual event honored the wounded service members who would have participated in this year's Warrior Games, which were slated to be held this week in Orlando but were canceled because of COVID-related concerns.

During a Zoom conference call, Harry — who was to have visited the U.S. Department of Defense's contest with Dr. Biden before its cancellation — told service members that the Invictus Games "never would've been created had I not been inspired by every single one of you, and you companions and your families, and everything you've given in service to this country."

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