Prince Harry has been criticised for releasing a video promoting this year’s Invictus Games just hours after confirming he won’t attend Prince Philip’s memorial service later this month.
The clip shows the Duke of Sussex learning Dutch ahead of the games, which will take place in the Netherlands in April, before ripping off his hoodie top to reveal an all-orange outfit.
During the promo piece, which appears to have been filmed in the $14 million California mansion he shares with wife Meghan Markle and his children Archie, 2, and Lilibet, 9 months, Harry is seen telling his team he ‘really wants to get this right’, as he asks them how to say various phrases in Dutch.
After mastering some words, he puts on orange sunglasses and a hat, before tearing off his hoodie to reveal an orange t-shirt. Pointing down into the camera, he tells his Invictus colleagues he is ‘ready’ for the games.
The ‘awkward’ Invictus Games video shows Prince Harry (pictured) tear off his hoodie to reveal an all-orange outfit in celebration of the games which will be held in the Netherlands next month
In the promotional video Harry puts on orange sunglasses and a hat, before tearing off his hoodie to reveal an orange t-shirt
The Duke of Sussex stands up to reveal he is also wearing orange trousers in honour of the Netherlands in a promotional advert for the Invictus Games which has been branded ‘awkward’
Commentators have left mixed feedback on the video (pictured) with some branding it ‘awkward’, but many others saying they love it
During the promo piece Harry is seen telling his team he ‘really wants to get this right’, as he asks them how to say various phrases in Dutch
The clip garnered mixed responses on Twitter, with one user branding it ‘awkward’.
They wrote: ‘Forced humour is always awkward…. And forced infantile humour for adults is worse.’
Others noted the timing of the clip, with some seemingly annoyed that Harry will not be returning for Prince Philip’s memorial service later this month, but will attend the games.
One wrote: ‘He can go to the Netherlands but not to see his own grandmother, something is not right with him.’
Another added: ‘Harry is refusing to attend his grandfather’s memorial/suing the UK Gov. for armed security but will go to the IG in the NL.’
However, numerous fans of the both the Duke and the Invictus Games were among the respondents, and they praised the clip.
One wrote: ‘Orange is definitely his colour. Harry is fabulous!’
Another added: ‘My family and I are looking forward to the #InvictusGames with friends we will be cheering you on. The Invictus Games is one of Prince Harry’s best gift to the world.’
And a third wrote: ‘This will be great! I look forward to the games and have friends who will attend! Yay!!!!’
The video came just hours after a spokesperson for Harry confirmed on Friday he would not be attending his grandfather’s Service of Thanksgiving which is due to be held at Westminster Abbey on March 29.
Experts had predicted this, after Harry’s lawyers last month told a court the prince does ‘not feel safe’ in the UK without the protection of Scotland Yard officers, during his ongoing legal battle over security.
The Duke of Sussex has faced some criticism from social media viewers over the video, with some noting that he won’t come to the UK for Prince Philip’s memorial service, but will fly to the Netherlands for the games
Many Twitter users were quick to criticise Harry, asking why he couldn’t travel to the UK for his grandfather’s memorial, but could travel to the Netherlands
Many of the respondents on Twitter had positive things to say about both Harry and the Invictus Games
Royal biographer Angela Levin has slammed the Duke as a ‘child stamping his feet’ over the decision and said the move was tantamount to ‘blackmail’, warning the Duke could use dropping out of major events at the last minute as leverage to secure personal protective security in the UK.
Levin warned that although Harry ‘has snubbed the Duke of Edinburgh but really he is snubbing the Queen’ who is still ‘grieving the loss of her husband of 73 years’ – and was only given 15 minutes advance notice of Harry’s announcement on Friday evening.
‘He has got this all wrong. If he comes over for a royal event he gets police protection. What they won’t do is, if he goes out with his friends he gets security. He’ll probably use this same excuse to try to get out of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations,’ she said.
‘It’s all about “me, me, me” rather than going out of his way for his grandmother and showing her he cares. He’s behaving like a child stamping his feet’.