Organisers of Prince Harry’s Invictus Games Foundation have revealed the new dates for the Hague contest after it was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
In March, organisers said the competition founded by the Duke of Sussex, 35, – due to take place at The Hague this year – was likely to be rescheduled to May or June 2021 because of the global crisis.
And in a statement released on Twitter this week, they said the postponed Invictus Games in The Hague are now scheduled for May 29 to June 5, 2021.
Mart de Kruif, Chairman of the Invictus Games The Hague 2020, said: ‘The Coronavirus, and its effects, influences every public mass event. We will organise the Invictus Games safely, for the competitors, their loved ones and spectators, but we will work within the current Covid-19 measures. We still strive to deliver a safe, surprising and impactful Games.’
A statement released online said the new date had been decided in consultation with the Invictus Games Foundation, participating nations and partners.
It also detailed how the Games will be conducted within Covid-19 guidance, with social distancing measures being carefully considered.
It read: ‘The Invictus Games are an important step towards recovery for all participants.
‘Our plans will always put the safety and welfare of wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women and their friends and family first.
‘The presence of special guests and visitors will create a positive atmosphere at the event alongside interaction with both the competitors and their Friends & Family.’
The announcement comes weeks after the Duke said the ‘Invictus spirit’ was ‘even more relevant’ amid the Covid-19 pandemic as ‘we address new challenges and adapt our lives’ during a webinar with organisers.
Prince Harry shared a message with Invictus Games organisers for the meeting, with a video clip released on the charity’s YouTube page.
The royal, who is currently isolating in Tyler Perry’s $18 million mansion in Los Angeles having stepped back from royal duty, told organisers: ‘This conversation is all about sharing the Invictus spirit and it is even more relevant now as we are having to address new challenges and adapt our lives.’
The video clip was released days after it was revealed that Prince Harry has merged The Endeavour Fund and the Invictus Games so that he could continue working on them following his decision to step back as a senior royal.
At the start of the virtual meeting, which took place in May, Prince Harry told those attending: ‘Hello everybody, I’m really happy to be able to welcome you all here today for the first ever Invictus Games foundation conversation.
‘We’re obviously not in the Hague but I’m so pleased we have been able to organise this virtual gathering when the Games would have taken place themselves.’
He went on: ‘This conversation is all about sharing the Invictus spirit and it is even more relevant now as we are having to address new challenges and adapt our lives.’
Harry was inspired to found the global tournament after attending the Warrior Games in Colorado in 2013.
At the event he saw how injured American military personnel thrived on the challenge of taking part in competitive sports that aided their recovery.
He went on to stage the inaugural games in London’s Olympic Park in 2014, followed by Orlando in 2016, Toronto in 2017 and Sydney in 2018.
It emerged last month that the organisation had merged with the Endeavour Fund.
Taking to Twitter, @WeAreInvictus penned: ‘The Invictus Games Foundation is delighted to announce that the Endeavour Fund has been transferred across from The Royal Foundation and into the work of the Invictus Games Foundation.
‘The Endeavour Fund will continue to support the ambitions of wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans but will now expand its activities across the international Invictus community.’
The Duke of Sussex established The Endeavour Fund in 2012 when he was patron of The Royal Foundation – alongside brother Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Last year, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced they were splitting from The Royal Foundation as the two couples started to take ‘divergent paths’ in their charity work and needed to reflect that in different outlets, a source told PEOPLE.
Following Megxit, it was decided that Prince Harry will no longer use HRH or his honorary military titles.