The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are counting down to an event close to their hearts
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will head north from Feb. 14 to Feb. 16 for the Invictus Games Vancouver Whistler 2025's One Year to Go celebrations. Over their three-day visit, the couple will join members of the participating nations' Winter Training Camp, which provides an opportunity for members of the International Invictus Community, including team managers, coaches and competitors, to experience winter adaptive sports ahead of the Games next year.
Prince Harry, a former captain in the British Army, founded the international adaptive sports tournament for wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans in 2014.
Following cycles in London (2014), Orlando (2016), Toronto (2017) and Sydney (2018), the Hague (when COVID-19 pushed the event back to 2022) and Düsseldorf (2023), the competition in Canada in 2025 will be the first time the Invictus Games have returned to a previous host country.
The Invictus Games in Vancouver-Whistler will also be the first to incorporate winter adaptive sports in addition to some of the core sports from previous Invictus Games.
The news was accompanied by two new images of Meghan, 42, and Harry, 39, at the 2023 Invictus Games in Germany, both taken by their close friend Misan Harriman. The first black-and-white photo showed the couple walking with their arms around each other at the sitting volleyball finals. The other shows Harry embracing a competitor while Meghan stands behind her husband watching on.
In November, Prince Harry and Meghan made a surprise appearance at the Vancouver Canucks hockey game tied to the next Invictus Games. The Duke of Sussex took the ice and made the ceremonial first puck drop ahead of the match-up between the Vancouver Canucks and the San Jose Sharks, just like his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, did 21 years before.
Canada is a special place for Prince Harry and Meghan, and the Invictus Games marked an important moment early in their relationship. The couple famously made their debut as a couple at the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto, where Meghan lived while filming Suits.
Not only are Vancouver and Whistler close to Harry and Meghan following their move to Montecito, California, but Vancouver is also a special spot for their family. Before stepping back from their royal roles in 2020, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex spent their first holiday season as a family of three in 2019 with their son, Prince Archie, on Vancouver Island.
Exclusively speaking to PEOPLE in 2022, Prince Harry touched on the key role Invictus has played in his journey with Meghan.
"There is nowhere you can feel more embraced and supported than with the Invictus family," he said at the time. "The Toronto Games were our first time out and about publicly in an official way. We were dating at the time, so it was a lot to take in, but fortunately, we were with the perfect community for that."
"Now, five years later, here we are in The Hague at the fifth Invictus Games, as parents of two, and living in the U.S.,” he continued, referring to 4-year-old son Prince Archie and daughter Princess Lilibet, now 2, who born in 2021 following the family’s U.S. move.
“I had always wanted to share these incredible moments with someone special, and to have Meg by my side means everything,” Prince Harry told PEOPLE.
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Archie and Lili may even tag along to the 2025 Invictus Games.
"We can't wait to bring our kids also so they can experience just how awesome this is," Meghan said in a speech at the latest Invictus Games in Germany.
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Read the original article on People.