Harry and Meghan hire Obama's former bodyguard for operation 'VVIP" as security row rumbles on

Meghan and Harry were given VVIP (very very important person) status for their trip to The Hague

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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have hired former US president Barack Obama’s bodyguard as part of their five-strong team protecting them at this year’s Invictus Games.

Christopher Sanchez, who spent five years on the US Secret service and protected George W Bush, was spotted in the Sussexes car as they drove to the sports arena at the Zuiderpark in The Hague.

The couple have been given VVIP (very very important person) status for their stay and are under protection from local police and members of the Dutch royal protection unit.

En route to the sporting event for military veterans, the couple were also trailed by a Landrover with four other bodyguards in.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, with Invictus Games trustee and paralympian Dave Henson
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, with Invictus Games trustee and paralympian Dave Henson
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex during the Invictus Games opening ceremony at Zuiderpark the Hague, Netherlands
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex during the Invictus Games opening ceremony at Zuiderpark the Hague, Netherlands

They could be seen with earpieces, but did not looked to be armed.

This comes amid a security row over the couples permitted protection in the UK which was reduced after the pair decided to step back from Royal life.

Due to safety concerns, Harry was the only member of the Royal Family not in attendance at Prince Philip's memorial service.

Harry and Meghan spent Easter Sunday morning at the athletics track and were in the front row for the sitting volleyball as the first full day of competition began.

A camera crew filming for a Netflix documentary called Heart Of Invictus – a series from Harry and Meghan’s Archewell Productions following people competing at the event – has been seen close to the couple since they arrived at the games on Friday.

On both Saturday and Sunday, a drone could be seen hovering above events that the couple were at.

The pair signed a multimillion-pound deal with streaming giant Netflix in 2020.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex paid tribute to the bravery of the Ukraine team at the opening ceremony of the Invictus Games, with Meghan exclaiming: “Slava Ukraini! (Glory to Ukraine!)”

Harry said he hopes the games, which are taking place in The Hague in the Netherlands, will create the opportunity for the world to “better show up” for the country of Ukraine.

The Duke appeared emotional after he was introduced to the stage by wife Meghan, with the pair kissing before he delivered a heartfelt speech.

Harry founded the Invictus Games to aid the rehabilitation of injured or sick military personnel and veterans from across the globe, by giving them the challenge of competing in sporting events similar to the Paralympics.

Harry and Meghan made their first public appearance together in Europe since quitting as senior working royals more than two years ago when they attended a reception at the games on Friday.