Meghan and Harry poised for first trip since leaving Royal Family in latest blow to Queen

Harry will be more at risk in The Netherlands than he would have been at Prince Philip's memorial, a former royal protection officer claims


Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are poised for their first trip abroad since leaving the Royal Family this week at the Invictus Games in the Netherlands.

The move will be seen by many as an insult to the Queen after the Duke of Sussex refused to attend Prince Philip's memorial service earlier this month.

A spokesperson for the Sussexes explained there were concerns over Harry's safety, after his level of security in the UK was reduced.

It comes as former royal protection officer Ken Wharfe said Harry will be more at risk at the Invictus Games than he would have been at Thanksgiving service held in Westminster Abbey.

Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex
Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex
Prince Harry (left) talking to JJ Chalmers during the Invictus Games 2016
Prince Harry (left) talking to JJ Chalmers during the Invictus Games 2016

On their trip to The Hague, the Sussexes will be followed by their Netflix documentary crew for the six-day event, The Mirror claims.

The Duke founded the 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.

The Invictus Games was where the couple chose to make their first public appearance together almost five years ago.

Meghan made her first appearance at an official engagement attended by Harry on September 24, 2017, when she attended the Invictus Games opening ceremony in Toronto, Canada, although the pair sat about 18 seats apart.

The following day, they emerged hand in hand to make their first official public appearance together at the wheelchair tennis.

Team UK competitors at this year’s games have said they are hoping the couple will attend with their two children, Archie and Lili.

Daniel O’Connor, 31, from Hereford, is competing in archery and indoor rowing, and said Harry is “someone who cares a lot”.

Harry speaks to Team UK at their final training camp before they depart for the Invictus Games
Harry speaks to Team UK at their final training camp before they depart for the Invictus Games

Mr O’Connor, who suffers from chronic pain, said: “He has in his mind the things he wants to achieve in his life, the things he’d like to see change, and he tries to work towards them. And if everyone had that attitude you can imagine how different the world would be.”

Asked if he would like to see Meghan at the event, Mr O’Connor said: “I think everyone in the Games, all the competitors, are bringing friends and family, and I think if we have the right to bring friends and family then surely Prince Harry does.”

He said anyone who wants to support the Invictus Games is welcome with open arms, adding that Meghan has been to previous Invictus events.

“So she has shown a continued support of the Games. I think she’s doing a great job,” he said, adding: “I would love to see her at the Games. If she is, great, and I hope they bring the kids as well so they’ve got the whole family there.”

Lucy Holt, 29, from Lincoln, said it would be “a nice surprise” if the family turned up.

Ms Holt, who is competing in powerlifting, indoor rowing, wheelchair basketball and athletics, said Harry’s family are very supportive of the Invictus Games.

She said: “I think it’s a great way to kind of highlight to his family what he has achieved and what he is still achieving.”

Ms Holt said the Games are great for children to see as they showcase what can be achieved with disabilities.

Jason Finlay, 50, who lives in Amesbury, said he found Harry “very relaxing” to talk to on the couple of times they met.

Mr Finlay, who is competing in sitting volleyball and athletics, said: “It was great to meet him, to be honest. You can see the military ethos that he has through his military service.”

He said it would be nice to meet Meghan, adding that she would be a good ambassador for Invictus.