Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attended a reception this morning to meet servicemembers from Britain and Australia ahead of the Invictus Games to be held this Autumn in Sydney.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his wife Lucy hosted the reception at Australia House in London, as a final event capping off the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings that wrapped up on Friday.
At the reception, Harry and Meghan were updated about the progress of the Invictus Games and how plans were coming along. They also met servicemembers who will compete in the upcoming Games.
“I don’t think he realises how many lives he’s changed,” said past Invictus Games competitor Jo Hursey, a soldier from Herefordshire in an interview with Sky News. “He’s changed mine for the better.”
Prime Minister Turnbull gave a speech at the reception, noting that the athletes will receive the “respect and recognition they so thoroughly deserve.
“It will be a formidable contest. Five hundred athletes…will all be competing in a country and a city which will applaud them for their service and cheers them on to greater heights.”
When Prince Harry announced that the 2018 Games would be held in Sydney, he noted that the criteria – which also included a well-known location and military heritage – was that “we wanted to go somewhere where they are absolutely sports mad and would really get behind our competitors. It was an easy decision, really.”
At the UK Team trials earlier this month, Meghan confirmed that she and Harry will attend the Invictus Games later this year. It will be one of Meghan’s first official tours, and the first one confirmed.
Prince Harry founded the Invictus Games in 2013, inspired by the Warrior Games in the United States. The first Invictus Games were held in the UK in 2014, followed by the 2016 Games in Orlando, and the 2017 Games in Toronto, where he and Meghan first appeared together publicly.
The Sydney Invictus Games will take place from 20-27 October, with 11 sports played in venues including the Sydney Olympic Park and Sydney Harbour.