Prince Harry's Invictus Games: The Foundation reveals two shortlisted cities to host 2027 event

The infamous UK v/s USA debate for Prince Harry has restarted again, but this time it has to do with the Invictus Games.

Prince Harry Invictus Games Foundation 2027 Games Washington, D.C., UK and Birmingham, USA
© Max Mumby/Getty_Images
Prince Harry Invictus Games Foundation 2027 Games Washington, D.C., UK and Birmingham, USA

Prince Harry always finds a way to be the talk of the town, sometimes himself and sometimes unintentionally. His upcoming visit to the UK next week for the Invictus Games Foundation’s 10th Anniversary has posed a million questions about what would happen while he’s in the city - from whether he would see his brother and Kate Middleton to a potential meeting with his father that may help them reconcile, however difficult that may be.

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Amidst this, the Invictus Games Foundation released yesterday the two cities they have shortlisted for the 2027 sporting event. And the shortlisted cities are sure to hit home for Prince Harry as one is in the UK and one is in the States.

Prince Harry in a new dilemma after Invictus Games 2027's host city

Born and raised in the UK, Prince Harry now calls the US his home with his wife Meghan Markle and two kids - Archie and Lillibet. The Sussex couple owns a £11 million mansion in California that they are allegedly planning to sell. Amidst rumours that the family may look to return to their base, the new Invictus Games announcement has posed a dilemma for the Duke.

According to The Mirror, the race to host the 2027 Invictus Games has begun with just two contenders in the running - Washington D.C., US and Birmingham, UK. Both countries have prior experience of hosting the event and have proved to be great locations for the event. The inaugural Invictus Games were held in London in 2014 and the second one took place in Orlando in 2016.

Invictus Games is thrilled to have received great bids from both the countries. The foundation’s website reads a comment from Lord Allen, Chair of the Invictus Games Foundation that says:

We were delighted to receive such a strong field of applications to host the Invictus Games in 2027…
Both cities now shortlisted for 2027 have kept the experiences of the competitors and supporters at their core, building different but hugely exciting bids.

Lord Allen expressed his excitement over the next stage of the process to finalise the host city. The decision is understood to be made by the end of July, reports People Magazine. According to the organisation, Washington, D.C., and Birmingham, both have a unique appeal as potential venues.

The bid from the American capital outlines several potential venues in and around the city for the sporting event, mainly focusing on the George Washington University campus. They have also provided ‘an indicative sports schedule which includes the nine core Invictus Games sports, plus the addition of esports.’

Meanwhile, the bid from the UK government for Birmingham has used its location history as one of its biggest assets. The Birmingham government focuses on the National Exhibition Centre in the city. They draw connections to ‘the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Selly Oak and wider Defence Medical assets in the region.’ Not only have they included nine core sports including an esport but they plan to add a team of triathlon as a potential new sport.

According to Birmingham Live, despite the city’s crippling financial problems, the government has launched a bid of £26 million of its money. The amount of the bid made by Washington D.C. is not known.

The sporting event is close to Prince Harry’s heart for various reasons and he even made a documentary for Netflix about the games. The said documentary is alleged to be a cause of ‘jealousy’ between the two brothers.

What are Invictus Games and how is Prince Harry involved in them?

Invictus Games’ origin story dates back to 2013 when Prince Harry visited the Warrior Games - a competition for wounded servicemen organised by the U.S. Department of Defense. As reported by Town & Country Magazine, the Duke was so impressed by the concept of the games that he brought the idea back to the UK. A year later, in 2014, the UK held its very first games as a touching gesture to Prince Harry’s home country.

The multi-sports event is exclusively for wounded and injured military personnel, either serving or veterans. The Invictus Games Foundation, on the other hand, helps sick servicemen and women who are struggling with their injuries and mental health. The Duke saw how the ‘power of sport’ could help these people ‘physically, psychologically and socially.’ As such, even after stepping down from his senior Royal position Prince Harry has been consistent in his involvement with the project.

So far, the Games have been held in London (2014), Orlando (2016), Toronto (2017), Sydney (2018), The Hague (2022) and Düsseldorf in September 2023. Over 20 countries take part in the sporting event including US, UK, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, New Zealand and more.

The next games will be held in February 2025 in Vancouver and Whistler, Canada. The multi-sporting event will include winter sports such as alpine skiing, snowboarding, biathlon, Nordic skiing, skeleton and wheelchair curling for the first time ever. Earlier this year, Prince Harry and Meghan visited Vancouver and celebrated the One Year To Go event where Prince Harry also tried a few new winter sports himself. The event took place in the same month when Prince Harry and Meghan launched their new website.

Does Prince Harry have an influence over the decision-making of the Games?

To cut short, it’s not known how much influence would Prince Harry, who is the co-founder of the sporting event, have on deciding the 2027 host city or if he would have any. The UK and USA have had a ‘fun dynamic’ and friendly rivalry since the inception of the Invictus Games, largely because both countries have the two biggest teams.

Prince Harry has previously remarked there’s no ‘picking sides’ for him when it comes to the UK and US teams. He said:

I always love catching up with all the competitors, old and new, across all the nations, and watching them excel at their chosen sport and heal in the process.
I feel like I have a special bond with all the teams, and I’m very much a supporter of the sport, as opposed to the winning. So there’s no picking sides for me!

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Sources Used

The Mirror: Prince Harry faces tough dilemma as Invictus Games 2027 host city finalists announced

Invictus Games website

People Magazine: Prince Harry's Invictus Games Announce Finalists for 2027 Host City — Including One in the U.S.

BirminghamLive: Prince Harry could be heading to Birmingham as city shortlisted for Invictus Games 2027

Town & Country Magazine: What Are the Invictus Games?

Prince Harry could face security risk as exact time and date of Invictus event revealed, says source Prince Harry could face security risk as exact time and date of Invictus event revealed, says source