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Prince Harry’s Invictus Games Branded ‘Hijack’ of American Event-Book

Prince Harry wanted to “hijack and get involved” with the U.S. Department of Defense’s Warrior Games after attending the veterans sporting event in 2013, according to a new biography.
The royal attended the event, founded in 2010, as part of an official visit to the U.S. and is reported to be the basis of his idea for the new world-renowned Invictus Games.
The prince’s founding of the Invictus Games is referenced in the new biography Courtiers: The Hidden Power Behind The Crown by prominent British royal correspondent Valentine Low.
The book has already made headlines, detailing the working relationships between members of the royal family and their closest staff.
In an advance copy of the book provided to Newsweek, a number of chapters explore Harry and his wife Meghan Markle’s experiences with aides and household members during their marriage, something both have talked about in the years since stepping down as working royals. The author also looks at Harry’s life within the institution of the monarchy before he met Meghan.
In the years before his marriage, Harry is described by Low as a “man of action” whose well-intentioned enthusiasm to make a change and create impact often saw his staff playing catch up.
“Harry would constantly be throwing out ideas, which his team would try and turn into reality,” the author wrote, adding a source’s description of the prince as: “The kind of guy that has ten ideas a day, nine of which are totally bonkers, but one of which is actually pretty good.”
Perhaps Harry’s most successful idea to date and one which has created the most enduring legacy is the creation of the Invictus Games, an event that aims to create a platform to showcase the mental and physical strength of injured, sick and wounded servicemen and women around the world.
“The way it came into being typified Harry’s enthusiasm and impetuous nature,” Low wrote. “On an official visit to the U.S, he had spent a weekend in Colorado Springs watching the Warrior Games, the American event that gave him the inspiration for Invictus.”
Low wrote that one insider branded the prince’s event a hijacking.
“He thought, ‘This is fantastic, this is brilliant, we’ve got to hijack this and get involved,'” the source told Low of Harry’s plan. “He made the decision there and then to create something.'”
Despite this claimed metaphorical hijacking, Harry and the Invictus Games have repeatedly attributed the inspiration for the event to the Warrior Games.
“On a trip to the Warrior Games in the USA in 2013, HRH The Duke of Sussex saw first-hand how the power of sport can help physically, psychologically and socially those suffering from injuries and illness,” the official Invictus Games Foundation website states. “He was inspired by his visit and the Invictus Games was born.”
From the inaugural games hosted in London in 2014, Invictus was a success with events being held successively in Orlando in 2016, Toronto in 2017, Sydney in 2018 and The Netherlands in 2022.
Since 2017, Meghan Markle has been a staple fixture at the events alongside her husband. It was at the Toronto games, where Meghan was living nearby while recording episodes of her TV show Suits, that the couple made their first appearance at an official event together.
Most recently, Harry and Meghan visited Dusseldorf, Germany to mark the one-year way-point to the 2023 games being hosted in the city.
The royals were visiting Europe to attend the event and a number of other charity functions last month when they learned of the death of Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.
Newsweek reached out to Prince Harry’s representatives for comment.
Do you have a question about King Charles III, William and Kate, Meghan and Harry or their family that you would like our experienced royal correspondents to answer? Email royals@newsweek.com. We’d love to hear from you.

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