British Royal Family

Prince Harry's beloved Invictus Games could be under threat from coronavirus

As the spread of the disease ramps up, Prince Harry is taking measures to ensure his event isn't derailed.

By Bella Brennan
Prince Harry's Invictus Games are due to take place at The Hague in the Netherlands at the start of May but speculation is building the worldwide spread of coronavirus could wreak havoc on the sporting event.
Former military man Prince Harry launched the Paralympics-style event for wounded servicemen and women back in 2014 and it has since become a global attraction, which sees athletes from around the world gather to compete against each other.
According to a new report from The Sun, Prince Harry is getting "daily updates" on the developing situation and would be "devastated" if he had to cancel it.
"Harry, like everyone else in the team involved in planning the Games, is very mindful about the impact coronavirus could have on the event," a source told the publication.
Adding: "But Harry has been clear that the safety and welfare of those taking part comes before anything else."
"So this will be at the forefront of the minds of those drawing up an action plan to deal with the situation."
Prince Harry shares a laugh with Jeff Wright during the 2018 Sydney Invictus Games. Getty
"Harry has an incredibly close bond not just with the Games but with those taking part."
It's not the only sporting event under threat, with COVID-19 also casting a shadow of doubt over the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which are due to take place on the 24th of July.
While Harry waits to make an official decision, insiders say the superbug is becoming a "logistical nightmare" for the organisers of the Invictus Games.
"There is a huge amount of concern and a lot of attention is being paid to how Holland deals with the virus and whether it spreads."
"There is concern many will be forced to stay at home — particularly if the situation does develop into a pandemic."
"Organisers are also worried about the dangers in the current climate of putting so many disabled athletes together in one place from different countries for a week."
WATCH: Duchess Meghan delivers a touching speech at the 2018 Invictus Games. Story continues...
Indeed, in the past Harry has opened up about just how much the Invictus Games mean to him, revealing the horrific events that inspired him to create the now hugely successful annual event.
"In February, 2008, I was forced to leave Afghanistan. I'd been serving as an army officer in the British army on the front-line until my presence leaked out into the press. I can no longer stay with my soldiers as it would have put them at greater risk. It was a decision over which I had no control but the guilt at having to leave my guys behind was the one thing I found hard to swallow," he shared during the launch of the Games in Sydney in 2017.
"Four years later, after another tour of Afghanistan, I began to look for ways in which I could support those veterans which in previous years, simply would have been un-survivable," Harry explained.
After visiting the Warrior Games in Colorado in 2013, the former military man finally had his light-bulb moment and realised sport was the key.
"Sport is what would make the difference. Sport would help these guys and girls fix their lives."
"There is a huge amount of concern and a lot of attention is being paid to how Holland deals with the virus and whether it spreads." Getty