Prince Harry to return to the UK in May: What to know about his trip


(LONDON) — Prince Harry, the duke of Sussex, is heading back to the United Kingdom for a cause close to his heart.

Harry, who now lives in California, will be in London on May 8 to attend a service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral marking the 10th anniversary of the Invictus Games, a Paralympic-style competition for wounded service members that he founded in 2014.

The visit will be the first time Harry has returned to the U.K., since February, when he flew to London to visit his father King Charles III, who had been recently diagnosed with an undisclosed type of cancer.

In the weeks following Harry’s February visit, his sister-in-law, Kate, the princess of Wales, announced that she too had been diagnosed with cancer. The type of cancer with which Kate was diagnosed was not disclosed publicly, though Kensington Palace did share at the time that she had started a course of preventative chemotherapy in late February.

It is not known whether Harry plans to see his father, Kate or Kate’s husband Prince William while he is in the U.K.

Harry’s visit in February was quick. He reportedly met with Charles for less than an hour and stayed overnight in a hotel before departing the next day from London’s Heathrow Airport.

He did not see Kate or William, his older brother, with whom he has a strained relationship, during that trip.

The last time Harry and his wife Meghan, the duchess of Sussex, were seen publicly with William and Kate and Charles was in 2022, when they attended the funeral of the late Queen Elizabeth II.

The Invictus Games, which Harry will celebrate on this trip, is a major passion project for the duke, who served in the British Army for 10 years.

Harry launched the first Invictus Games in 2014 in London as an international version of the Warrior Games, an annual event organized by the U.S. Department of Defense, which the prince attended in 2013.

The games have since taken place in Orlando, Toronto, Sydney, Düsseldorf and The Hague.

Next year’s Invictus Games, to be held in Canada in both Vancouver and Whistler, will be the first time winter sports are included in the Paralympic competition.

More than 500 competitors from over two dozen nations are expected to compete during the games, which will be held from Feb. 8-16, 2025.

In February, Harry and Meghan visited the Vancouver area, where they met with dozens of Invictus participants and toured the courses where those same competitors will compete next year.

Describing why he has a passion for being part of the games, Harry told ABC News’ Will Reeve at the time, “I’ve always had a life of service, and then I get my fix being part of, being with these guys. There’s no version of me coming here, watching them and not getting involved myself.”

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.