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Prince Harry praised by First Lady Jill Biden at virtual event honoring Warrior Games athletes

The pair honoured Warrior Games athletes during a virtual event

prince harry and jillbiden
Danielle Stacey
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
14 September 2021
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The Duke of Sussex has teamed up with First Lady Jill Biden for the first time since his move to the US.

Prince Harry and Dr Biden hosted a special virtual event to honour Warrior Games athletes and their families on Monday.

They were joined by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Ken Fisher, Chairman and CEO of Fisher House Foundation.

READ: Inside Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's £11m ultra-stylish family home

WATCH: Prince Harry pays tribute to Warrior Games athletes

Speaking from his home in Montecito, Harry paid tribute to the athletes, saying: "I am so sorry that we're not all together at the Warrior Games where we should be.

"The pandemic has certainly changed or flipped life upside down for so many people.

"I will never forget that first visit that I had to the Warrior Games, which inspired me to create the Invictus Games and the Invictus Games never would have been created had I not been inspired by every single one of you, and your companions, and the families for everything that you give to the service of this country."

Revealing what's important about the event, he continued: "It's not about the medals. It's not even so much about the winning, as far as most of us are concerned you guys have already won.

prince harry chat

Prince Harry spoke from his home in Montecito

"These games are so important, whether it's the Warrior Games, whether it's the Invictus Games, it is ultimately the reminder of service, both at home and overseas.

"It is about caring for our physical as well as our mental fitness.

"And that, again, is not just those who wear the uniform, but every single one of you. Because as we know, once served, always serving and that goes across the whole family network."

Dr Biden added: "Twenty years ago our world broke apart and the shockwaves of 9/11 continue today, but as the President and I visited the September 11 memorials this weekend I was reminded of the humanity that shined through the inhumanity of that day.

"There was a call to defend the values we hold dear as we waged a global war on terror and a courageous group of men and women stepped forward to say 'Me, I will go.'

jill biden chat

First Lady Jill praised Harry

"And that includes you, Harry. You live by a simple principle, serve together, recover together."

The pair had planned to attend the Warrior Games in person in Orlando, Florida this week, but the event was cancelled to ensure the health and safety of athletes and their families due to COVID-related concerns.

The Department of Defense Warrior Games is an annual event, first held in 2010, that celebrates the resiliency and dedication of wounded, ill, and injured active duty and veteran US military service members.

MORE: Prince Harry's sweet friendship with US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill revealed

MORE: Kate Middleton and the Queen share heartfelt congratulations to US Open winner Emma Raducanu

The First Lady first met Harry during his tour of the US in 2013, during which he attended a reception for British and US wounded warriors in Washington. At that time, Mr Biden and Dr Biden were Vice President and second lady under President Obama's administration.

Harry credits his visit to the Warrior Games in Colorado during his 2013 trip as the inspiration behind his Invictus Games, an international sporting event for wounded, injured and sick service personnel.

jill biden prince harry invictus games

Dr Biden with Prince Harry at the Invictus Games Toronto 2017

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex moved to the US after stepping back from royal duties in March 2020. They moved into their current family home in Montecito, Santa Barbara in July 2020.

Harry and Meghan, who are parents to two-year-old Archie, welcomed their daughter, Lilibet Diana, in June.

The Sussexes are set for more family celebrations this week as Harry will mark his 37th birthday on Wednesday.

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