Back to business. Prince Harry‘s future royal duties might be in flux, but his plans for the Invictus Games are mapped out for the next two years.
The Duke of Sussex, 35, announced on Wednesday, January 15, that the Invictus Games, an international Paralympic-style sporting event for wounded or sick veterans or members of the armed forces, will head to Germany in 2020. The competition, which means “unconquered” or “undefeated” in Latin, is one of Harry’s royal patronages, which he has attended every year since its inception in 2014.
“I am honored that Germany will take the Invictus Story further, with the sixth Invictus Games heading to Düsseldorf in 2022,” Harry said in the promotional video for the competition. “Germany has been a key part of the Invictus Games family since the very start in 2014, and I know that they will be exemplary hosts in picking up the mantle and showcasing what sport continues to do for these inspirational men and women in their recovery.”
— Invictus Games Foundation (@WeAreInvictus) January 15, 2020
The Netherlands will host the 2020 Invictus Games in The Hague in May. The sporting event holds personal meaning for Harry, who spent 10 years in the Armed Forces. Harry and Duchess Meghan went public with their romance in May 2016 at the Invictus Games. The royal couple revealed that they were expecting their first child together, Archie, on the day they arrived for the 2018 games in Sydney, Australia, in October 2018.
Harry’s announcement comes seven days after Harry and the Duchess of Sussex, 38, revealed that they plan to step back as senior members of the royal family and to divide their time between the U.K. and North America.
“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen,” the couple said in a joint statement on their Instagram account.
Buckingham Palace released a statement in response to the news hours later. “Discussions with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage,” the statement read. “We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through.”
Multiple sources confirmed to Us Weekly that the shocking revelation not only came as a surprise to the public but to other members of the royal family, including Queen Elizabeth II, Prince William and Duchess Kate.
The queen, 93, William, 37, Prince Charles and Harry met at the family’s Sandringham Estate on Monday, January 13, to discuss Harry and Meghan’s future. Although it was rumored that Meghan would be phoning into the meeting, a palace spokesman told Us on Tuesday, January 14, that “the Sussexes decided that it wasn’t necessary.” The Suits alum left London on January 9 to reunite with the couple’s 8-month-old son, Archie, in Canada.
“Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family,” the monarch explained in a statement on Monday. “My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family. Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working Members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family.”
She added, “There are complex matters for my family to resolve, and there is some more work to be done, but I have asked for final decisions to be reached in the coming days.”