Prince Harry Went "Rogue" When Creating One of His Most Successful Projects

Goes to show, pre-planning isn't always the way.

Invictus Games 2020 - Day 2
(Image credit: Getty/Max Mumby/Indigo)

Prince Harry's Invictus Games are one of his most successful projects to date, and see teams of injured and ill servicepeople from around the world compete in athletic events every year—this since their inception in 2014.

We already know that the Games were inspired by Harry's experience at the Warrior Games in the U.S., which he attended in 2013, but what you might not know is how quickly the Duke of Sussex moved once he'd had the idea to recreate his version of the Games.

When he attended the U.S. event for the first time, he knew immediately what he wanted to do.

"The morning after, we were sitting in a hotel in Colorado, reflecting on what we’d just seen," Harry's friend and director of the Invictus Games Foundation David Wiseman told Hello!'s A Right Royal Podcast.

"We were sitting down at breakfast, it wasn’t a meeting or anything like that, and Harry said, 'Look, this is absolutely brilliant, what we’ve seen here is absolutely brilliant. What we need to do is internationalize this.

"We need to invite allies and nations from all over the world, we’re going to put it in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, it needs to be on the BBC, this is going to be massive, we’ll have a closing concert.' He could see it before anyone else could."

Prince Harry

(Image credit: Getty Images)

While those who were at this famous breakfast agreed this was a great idea, they hadn't quite realized just how serious Harry was about all this.

"We didn’t realize the time frame that he made in mind," Wiseman continued.

"Bearing in mind that was May 2013, we went back to the Warrior Games that afternoon, and he stood on stage at the podium, and I think it had been written in his speech, that vision to say, 'Look, we’d like to do this,' I think he’d added his own note that said 'next year.'

"He went rogue! We were like, 'What? Next year?' For a long time, there were three or four of us at the Royal Foundation managing this project. September 2014, we were there, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, it might have been by the skin of our teeth but we were there! It was massive and we pulled that all together from May 2013 to September 2014."

Hello! notes that Jill Biden attended that first year, and the Foo Fighters performed at the closing concert.

Attending the inspiring Warrior Games in June in San Diego, Harry told the crowd, "My spirit is renewed, so thank you, every single one of you."

This year's Invictus Games took place in Düsseldorf, Germany, back in September.

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.