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Harry says next Invictus in Canada to 'reconcile indigenous' as anti-monarchy fury erupts

NewsHarry says next Invictus in Canada to 'reconcile indigenous' as anti-monarchy fury erupts

The Duke of Sussex, 37, announced 2025’s Invictus Games location to an audience on the final day of the games in The Hague. Harry arrived in the Netherlands last Friday with his wife Meghan Markle, 40, and the pair attended the first few opening days of the sporting event for injured and sick military personnel and veterans across the world.

Meghan then returned to the US to look after her and Harry’s two children Archie, two, and Lilibet, ten months.

Harry, however, stayed to attend the full course of the Games, which he launched back in 2014.

The Duke of Sussex said the Invictus Games 2025 will take place in Vancouver and nearby Whistler for a “winter-hybrid” style variation of the event.

In a statement, Harry said: “As Invictus continues to adapt and evolve, I am extremely excited to announce that the Invictus Games Foundation has selected Canada to host the first-ever Winter Hybrid Games in 2025.”

He said that the Games will “offer a global platform to expand the range and profile of winter adaptive sports”.

He added: “With deep respect, I’m also pleased to share that the Games in Canada will be held in partnership with the First Nations, in the spirit of truth and reconciliation with indigenous communities.”

His comments could be viewed as a thinly-veiled swipe against the Commonwealth following controversy over his brother Prince William and his wife Kate’s recent Caribbean tour.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Belize, Jamaica and The Bahamas last month and their trip was marred by controversy.

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A smaller statue of Harry’s grandmother was also toppled on the east side of the grounds and both were daubed with red paint and even appeared to have been strangled with Mohawk flags.

The royal women are seen as representative of the Royal Family’s colonial history.

Over the course of a period spanning from the 18th century until the 1970s, around 150,000 indigenous Canadian children were forced to convert to Christianity.

These children were not granted the opportunity to use their native languages after being sent to Catholic schools.

During this time up to 6,000 children are said to have died, but the policy of the Canadian government appears to have little to do with the British Royal Family, who are ceremonial heads of state.

The location of the next Invictus Games holds a special meaning to Harry and Meghan.

In 2019, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and baby Archie took a holiday to Canada’s Vancouver Island before announcing their decision to step down as senior working royals.

The Duchess said of their trip during a visit to Canada House in London in early 2020:

“Just to be able to take in the warmth that we experienced from the people but also just to walk around and just see the beauty of Canada.

“To see Archie go ‘ahhh’ when you walk by and just see how stunning it is, so it meant a lot to us.”

The pair also debuted their relationship at the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto.

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