“This was an incredibly difficult decision for all of us to have to make, and I’m so grateful for everybody that’s worked so hard over the last couple of weeks to try and find any alternative to try and carry out these games in a different way, in a safe way,” the Duke of Sussex, 35, said in a video posted via Twitter on Thursday, March 19. “But this decision was the most sensible — and the safest — option for all of you, for your families and everybody else involved in these games.”
Harry then noted that the delay could give the competitors a new advantage in 2021. “I know how disappointed you must all be,” he acknowledged. “This is a focus that so many of you need. I would encourage you to maintain that focus as best you can. The good thing is you have an extra 12 or so months to be even fitter, to get even fitter than you already are, to be at your absolute top mental and physical fitness.”
The prince went on to encourage participants to lean on one another as the world weathers the health crisis. “Please look after yourselves,” he implored. “Please look after your families. Please look out for one another.”
The Invictus Games were set to take place in The Hague, Netherlands, in May. The foundation is now planning to reschedule the event to May or June of 2021.
Harry founded the event in 2014 for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women. He and Meghan Markle were expected to attend the 2020 games despite their decision to step back as senior members of the royal family.
The pair are taking the coronavirus outbreak seriously by “observing the quarantine” in Canada with 10-month-old son Archie. “They are following the rules put forth by the World Health Organization,” an insider told Us Weekly exclusively.
The couple, who wed in May 2018, spoke out about the pandemic via Instagram on Wednesday, March 18. “Our willingness, as a people, to step up in the face of what we are all experiencing with COVID-19 is awe-inspiring,” their statement read. “This moment is as true a testament there is to the human spirit … All of our lives are in some way affected by this, uniting each of us globally. How we approach each other and our communities with empathy and kindness is indisputably important right now.”
Given the constantly evolving nature of COVID-19, Us Weekly wants our readers to have access to the most accurate resources. For the most up-to-date coronavirus information, guidance and support, consult the CDC, WHO and information from local public health officials. If you’re experiencing coronavirus symptoms, call your primary care provider for medical advice.Listen on Spotify to Us Weekly's Hot Hollywood as each week the editors of Us break down the hottest entertainment news stories!
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!