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Meghan Markle will mark her first trip outside of the United States since quitting the royal family when she travels to the Netherlands with Prince Harry for the Invictus Games next week.
The Duke of Sussex and Meghan will cross the Atlantic for The Hague shortly after refusing to be with Harry’s family at Westminster Abbey for his grandfather’s service of thanksgiving less than two weeks ago.
Despite royal insiders slamming the move in the wake of Harry’s high court battle over his family’s security, the pair will be joined by a Netflix documentary crew for the six-day event, reports the Mirror.
Meghan could even join Harry on stage at the opening ceremony of the games, with one source suggested there would be a ‘a big surprise to launch the event’.
They continued: ‘Meghan is excited to travel with Harry for the event, which is certainly close to his heart.’
Harry and Meghan are expected to arrive in the Netherlands on Friday after travelling from their £11m Montecito mansion in California.
The Duke of Sussex and Meghan will cross the Atlantic for The Hague shortly after refusing to be with Harry’s family at Westminster Abbey for his grandfather’s service of thanksgiving less than two weeks ago
Despite royal insiders slamming the move in the wake of Harry’s high court battle over his family’s security, the pair will be joined by a Netflix documentary crew for the six-day event. Pictured: Prince Harry speaks with Team UK before they depart for the 2022 Invictus Games
The decision for Harry to miss Prince Philip’s memorial service, particularly one which honoured his much-loved grandfather, is likely to add further tension to the strained relationship with his family
Harry and Meghan’s Archewell Productions first announced its Heart of Invictus Netflix docu-series last April.
Their official website describes the project as ‘a multi-episode production that will spotlight a group of extraordinary Invictus Games competitors from around the globe – members of the military community who have experienced life-changing injuries or illnesses – on their road to Invictus Games.’
After being delayed by the pandemic, the next staging of the Invictus Games, an international sports competition for injured or sick military personnel and veterans from across the globe, will take place from April 16 to 22.
The High Court heard the duke did not feel safe in Britain without Scotland Yard officers with him. Harry wants to bring his children to visit from the US, but is ‘unable to return to his home’ because it is too dangerous, a legal representative previously said.
But he still plans to jet more than 5,500 miles across the world to The Hague.
Meghan could even join Harry on stage at the opening ceremony of the games, with one source suggested there would be a ‘a big surprise to launch the event’
Harry is set to travel to the Netherlands for the Invictus Games and used a surprise video call to the UK team
The Duke of Sussex also joked recently he was learning Dutch and wore orange – the national colour of the Netherlands
Police and security services in the Netherlands have refused to say whether he will get royal protection in Holland, although it is likely because one of the event’s partners is the Dutch ministry of defence, which is also in charge of the country’s security and terrorism.
Former Met Inspector Ken Wharfe, who was protection officer for Princess Diana, Prince William and Harry, questioned why the royal would feel any safer in the Netherlands than the UK.
He told MailOnline this week: ‘[Harry] would have travelled to his grandfather’s memorial service with his brother or father and received protection from the Met. It’s not like he would have been turning up at Westminster Abbey on a bike’.
He added: ‘The Dutch police will be doing their own security assessments and liaising with Harry’s private security.
‘But my view it is more of a risk to go to Holland to support a charity with a military link than coming to London last week’.
The duke is at the heart of an extraordinary legal wrangle over his security when coming to Britain.
He mounted a legal challenge against the Home Office having been told he would no longer be given the ‘same degree’ of personal protective security when visiting from the US, despite claiming he had offered to pay for it himself.
The Duke’s legal team claimed he wanted to return to the UK ‘to see family and friends’, adding: ‘Most of all, this is and always will be his home.’
Harry was said to have wanted to return for the thanksgiving service for Philip, and to bring his children Archie and Lilibet and wife Meghan.
Government officials are understood to have been infuriated by the royal’s legal action.
They allegedly warned him British police officers are not available for ‘personal protective security’, and that it was ‘irrelevant’ he offered to pay for them himself.
After his grandfather died in April last year, Harry did return for the funeral, leaving his then-pregnant wife Meghan and son Archie behind in America.
The decision for Harry to miss such an important event last week, particularly one which honoured his much-loved grandfather, is likely to add further tension to the strained relationship with his family.
When the Queen recently announced that it was her ‘sincere wish’ that Camilla would become Queen when her husband Charles is King, Harry made no publicly supportive comment to his stepmother in response to the news.
Prince Andrew controversially walked his mother down the aisle at Westminster Abbey. Pictured: He releases his mother from his arm as she walks the final steps to her seat unaided
And the Royal family is braced for further bombshells from Harry when he publishes his memoirs, which are said to have been pushed back to the end of this year.
Harry surprised Invictus Games Team UK competitors with a video call on Wednesday as members gathered for a final training camp before the event takes place in the Netherlands later this month.
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 room erupted in laughter when Harry commented on the fact the competitors had had two years to prepare for the games and that therefore fitness should not be an issue.
‘You realise that no-one, not just you guys, no-one’s got any excuses for not being fit now,’ he joked.
Harry also enquired about former royal army physical training corps instructor Vic Wales, who was one of the instructing staff while he was a cadet at Sandhurst.
‘Is my PTI from Sandhurst in here somewhere?’ Harry asked, before spotting her and exclaiming: ‘There she is.’
He said: ‘I can’t believe after, how many years, 15 years, our paths are about to cross again.
‘You used to shout at me so much.’
Harry appeared to be told that he needed it, as he then said: ‘I needed it. Yeah, cool. That’s also fair enough.’