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"To the key workers on the frontlines in the battle against the pandemic, we are with you," the Duke of Sussex said in the video

By Simon Perry
February 02, 2021 10:28 AM
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Prince Harry gives a speech as he attends the launch of the Invictus Games For Our Wounded Warriors at the Copper Box on March 6, 2014 in London, England
Prince Harry at the 2014 Invictus Games
| Credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage

Prince Harry has announced that his Invictus Games have been postponed once again due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The annual competition was set to take place in the Netherlands last spring but was postponed due to the virus and due to take place this year from May 29 to June 5. They will now kick off in the Hague, Netherlands, in Spring 2022.

The Duke of Sussex, who started the Paralympic-style event for wounded and veteran servicemen and women in 2014, made the announcement in a video alongside some of his friends from around the world, including Invictus Games veterans JJ Chalmers, Dave Henson, former US captain Will Reynolds and David Wiseman.

"To the key workers on the frontlines in the battle against the pandemic, we are with you," Harry and his friends say in the video. "And when the world is ready, we will compete with all we have, with all we are."

Harry also signed a joint message along with Sir Keith Mills, chair of the Invictus Games Foundation, and Mark de Kruif, chair of the games in the Netherlands, that read, "We are Invictus: from the communities that host and cherish the Games, and the competitors who display unshakeable resilience and commitment as they prepare for and participate in the Games, to the families and network of supporters who support these men and women on their journey to competition."

Prince Harry visit to The Hague
Prince Harry promoting the Games in the Hague in 2019
| Credit: Chris Jackson Pool/Getty Images

"For so many around the world, the Invictus community included, COVID-19 has changed our expectations, hopes, and plans. But our unwavering mission is one bound by resilience and community—and that mission will continue to shine through between now and Spring 2022, when we hope to see everybody in person again in The Hague," the message continued.

"For now, we are continuing to plan programming, opportunities to connect safely during the foreseeable future, and ways to infuse the spirit of Invictus in your own communities over the coming year. We're excited to share more soon."

The inspiring games are remembered often not for who wins or loses but the spirit of competitiveness and respect and love between those who take part. Clearly, in light of COVID-19 restrictions, those outward displays of comradeship will not be possible this year. The organizers confirmed in a statement that the decision was taken in part "to avoid current social distancing measures that would otherwise negatively impact the recovery journey of its competitors."

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Wiseman, who looked after military issues for the Royal Foundation that Harry was a part of alongside his brother Prince William and sister in law Kate Middleton, tweeted, "Everyone will be disappointed by this news. But right now we need to concentrate on protecting each other & supporting our healthcare workers. In the spirit of Invictus, let's look forward"

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex speaks with Jon Bon Jovi at Abbey Road Studios, where a single has been recorded for the Invictus Games Foundation on February 28, 2020 in London, England
Prince Harry and Jon Bon Jovi
| Credit: Hannah McKay - WPA Pool / Getty

Last February, Jon Bon Jovi joined Harry in London as the singer led a special recording of an Invictus Games song to promote the event.