“Extremely Disappointed” Prince Harry Might Be Forced to Miss Attending the 10-Year Celebration of the Invictus Games In Person Next Month

The event, scheduled for May 8 in London, would see Harry return to the U.K. to celebrate an organization so important to him.

Prince Harry walking into High Court today for his phone hacking trial
(Image credit: Getty)

The Invictus Games—arguably the work of Prince Harry’s life and certainly one of his foremost passion projects—turns 10 years old this year. (For those who may not be aware of the work the Games does, it is a multi-sport event for wounded, injured, and sick servicemen and servicewomen, both veterans and those actively serving. Highly recommend watching Harry’s Heart of Invictus on Netflix for a deeper dive into the incredible work this organization does.) To celebrate the decade since the Games were founded in 2014, Harry was due to attend a 10-year celebration event on May 8 at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London (interestingly, the location where his parents, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, married in 1981). The Mirror reported recently that Harry “is certain to attend”—but now, because of ever-persistent security concerns, his plans might be thwarted.

Prince Harry at the Invictus Games Opening Ceremony

Harry, seen here at the Invictus Games opening ceremony last September, would likely only miss this important event if he absolutely felt he had no choice but to skip.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Mirror now reports that Harry “is said to be considering canceling his upcoming trip to the U.K.” over said concerns “after losing his security battle against the U.K. Home Office earlier this year.” Harry was due to give a speech at the event, but now “it appears he could instead appear via video link or a pre-recorded message,” the outlet writes.

Harry is said to be appealing the High Court decision and is reportedly “extremely disappointed” with the security plans for when he visits the U.K.

“Whenever Harry travels to the U.K., his trips are always dependent on how secure he is,” a source told The Daily Express. “Before deciding whether to attend the Invictus Games anniversary event, his security team must be sure that St. Paul’s is adequately protected by the Metropolitan Police, and his own security needs are met while he’s in London.” 

Meghan Markle

Harry is said to have security concerns over not just himself, but also his wife, Meghan Markle, and their kids, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

They added “Harry wants to spend more time in the U.K. with his family, but there’s no way he can do that while a question mark hangs over his security detail.”

Back in February, Harry lost a legal battle against the Home Office and Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (shortened to RAVEC) at the High Court. Harry had been trying to overturn a ruling which saw his security status downgraded after he stepped back as a working royal, “as he cited concerns over his safety and that of his wife and two young children,” The Mirror reports. Harry’s legal team previously claimed he was “singled out” and treated “less favorably” by RAVEC. “The claimant’s consistent position has been, and remains, that he should be given state security in light of the threats [and] risks he faces,” Harry’s lawyer Shaheed Fatima KC said.

Former head of royal protection Dai Davies said that, despite security concerns, Harry will still return to the U.K.: “He won’t be put off,” Davies said, per The Mirror. “His Chief of Protection appears to be an ex-Sergeant in royalty protection and is obviously highly trained. The other thing is, even if he [Harry] doesn’t have armed protection, he will get the liaison structure that would go with it.” 

Prince Charles Prince Harry

While back in the U.K., Harry was due to have a visit with his father, King Charles.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Davies added that RAVEC will ensure Harry is protected and won’t leave him exposed—and that Harry has been protected while visiting the U.K. since he stepped back from being a working member of the royal family in 2020. “In other words, as far as it’s humanly possible, if RAVEC decided through intelligence—and they get the best intelligence there is—after this furor over his protection, you can rest assured they have gone over it,” Davies added. “They have stood by it, the government has stood by it, and the Home Office. It’s nothing personal, and as a former professional, I would apply those principles of, ‘Is it necessary and does the intelligence warrant it?’ Every time he’s been here of late, to see his father or royalty, he’s had royalty protection.”

The source speaking to The Daily Express said of Harry’s potential visit next month “Discussions with the relevant departments are ongoing. Harry won’t attend if his team feels like his security might be compromised in any way.” 

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.