Harry and Meghan will receive ‘VVIP’ status when traveling to the Netherlands for the Invictus Games, giving them local protection at the highest level – and have undergone training in ‘hostile environment’ prior to the visit.
The couple will be accompanied by their own private security team at the event, which starts on Saturday, in what will be Meghan’s first trip to Europe since stopping as a senior working royal more than two years ago.
But they will also be protected by officials in the country after gaining the status of Very Very Important Persons, it has been confirmed. As VVIPs, Sussexes will have direct links to all law enforcement and emergency services.
According to the Daily Mirror, it is understood that a ‘detailed extraction process’ has been drawn up in the event of a terrorist attack, while the couple is also said to have undergone a ‘hostile environment’ course.
It comes after it emerged that Harry and Meghan will not have an audience with King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima during their stay, nor will they be offered a room in the Royal Palace in The Hague. Traditionally, the Dutch royal family hosts the stays of foreign royals, but it was confirmed that such an olive branch has not been extended to Sussexes.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will have VVIP status when they travel to the Netherlands for the Invictus Games, which are due to start on Saturday
Team UK competitors with their friends and family during a photo call for Invictus Games Team UK at Brunel University on Wednesday
King Willem-Alexander and Princess Margriet greet Dutch Paralympic athletes at Noordeinde Palace as they return from Beijing last month
The couple have been told there is no credible threat to their safety, while it is reported that responsibility for their safety will be monitored by the Dutch national police and the country’s royal and diplomatic security service.
Meghan’s participation in the Invictus Games the first few days was confirmed by a spokesman for the couple on Monday.
The Harry and Meghan Foundation reveals new philanthropic grants
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s charity announced yesterday that it is investing in several organizations that have “taken the lead in improving our digital community”.
Harry and Meghan’s Archewell Foundation has awarded ‘philanthropic fellowships’ to a community-based project, and other funding for academic research aimed at addressing ‘social media challenges and opportunities’.
The charity said on its website: ‘The Archewell Foundation believes that new innovations in technology and media should strengthen our society, strengthen families, restore confidence in information and ensure that we all – especially our children and grandchildren – can experience a better and safer world online.
‘That’s why we are today announcing a range of philanthropic grants in organizations that have taken the lead in improving our digital community.’
The foundation stated that it is investing in the organization Cortico’s Local Voices Network, a collaboration with MIT’s Center for Constructive Communication, where the participating groups of people’s conversations about their lives are recorded.
Software is used to allow the topics and issues discussed to be analyzed by researchers, thus providing a platform for individuals whose voices may not be reflected in decision-making.
The foundation also supports the Institute for Rebooting Social Media, a new three-year initiative at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University that aims to address pressing social media concerns such as hate speech and misinformation.
The charity backs the institution’s new fellowship program, which will bring together experts and new innovators from different backgrounds to collaborate on impact-oriented projects that address the challenges and opportunities of social media.
The trip to Holland comes after Harry was absent from the Duke of Edinburgh’s memorial service in London last month.
Harry makes a claim against the Home Office after being told he would no longer be given the same level of personal protection when visiting from the US, despite offering to pay for it himself.
The duke wants to bring his children on a visit, but he and his family are ‘unable to return to their home’ because it is too dangerous, his legal representative has said.
A spokesman for Harry confirmed earlier in March that he would miss the service for his grandfather, but that he hoped to visit the queen soon.
Dai Davies, a former head of royal protection at Scotland Yard, said the idea that Harry was unable to come to Britain due to security concerns was “purely unadulterated nonsense”, adding that the duke “did not is an expert in security “.
It is not known if Harry will visit the UK and see his grandmother while he is on this side of the Atlantic for the Invictus Games.
Sir. Davies suggested that Harry’s safety would be ensured by his own team, or he could get ‘VIP status’ by the Dutch authorities during his trip to The Hague.
An important difference between Invictus Games and the London Memorial Service is that a Netflix team will be with them in The Hague – as part of the couple’s rumored $ 100 million deal – but would not have been allowed to join them in Westminster Abbey.
Harry is expected to stay in the Netherlands during the Invictus Games, while Meghan will only be attending the first few days of the event. Their children will remain back in the United States.
The Sports Games for Injured Veterans, founded by Harry, take place in The Hague. The couple made their first public appearance together at the event when it was held in Toronto in 2017.
After his grandfather died in April last year, the Duke returned to the funeral at Windsor Castle. He is said to have wanted to travel to the UK for the Thanksgiving service with his family.
But sources suggested that his legal position could have been ‘undermined’ if he had left the United States.
Harry filed a High Court claim against the Home Office after being told he would no longer receive the same level of personal security when he visited the UK, despite offering to cover the costs himself.
Invictus runs from April 16 to 22, meaning the prince could visit the Queen for his 96th birthday on the 21st.
A former Metropolitan police inspector, Ken Wharfe, has questioned why the couple feel safer attending the Games than Philips’ memorial service. “My view is that it is more of a risk to go to the Netherlands to support a charity with a military connection than to come to London last week,” he said.
Invictus athlete Daniel O’Connor, 31, of Hereford, said Meghan would be welcomed with open arms. ‘I think she’s doing a good job. I would love to see her at the games, he said.