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Prince Harry Extended Invitations to King Charles and Prince William for Invictus Service in London

The Duke of Sussex was in the U.K. for an Invictus Games-focused trip

Prince Harry extended invitations to several royal family members ahead of the Invictus Games anniversary service in London.

PEOPLE understands that the Duke of Sussex invited his father, King Charles, his brother, Prince William and his sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, for the Service of Thanksgiving commemorating a decade of the Invictus Games at St. Paul’s Cathedral on May 8. Prince Harry’s Invictus-focused solo trip was a full-circle moment, as he hosted the first iteration of international adaptive sports tournament for wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans in London in 2014.

The Duke of Sussex, 39, was supported at the St. Paul’s service by several members from Princess Diana’s side of the family — his aunt Lady Jane Fellowes, his uncle Charles Spencer and his cousin Louis Spencer. Prince Harry was in good spirits as he arrived, happily greeting well-wishers outside of the historic church when the service concluded.

Lady Jane Fellowes and Earl Charles Spencer attend The Invictus Games Foundation 10th Anniversary Service at St Paul's Cathedral on May 8, 2024

Princess Kate, 42, has been out of the public eye since Christmas, following her abdominal surgery in January, private recovery and the announcement of her cancer diagnosis on March 22. The Princess of Wales said in her self-written speech announcing her diagnosis that she looked forward to returning to work “when I am able,” though Kensington Palace outlined that any initial public events won’t necessarily signal a formal return to a regular schedule.

Prince William, 41, conducted investitures at Windsor Castle on the same day as Prince Harry’s Invictus Games service. The duty included awarding an MBE to Claire van Straubenzee for the Henry van Straubenzee Memorial Fund, an educational non-profit focused on Uganda named after Claire and Alex van Straubenzee’s son Henry, who died in a car crash in 2002 just before he was due to go to the African country to work in a school.

Henry’s brothers, Thomas and Charlie, are very close friends of Prince William and Prince Harry, who backed the charity as the only patronage they shared.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge talks with Thomas van Straubenzee after playing in the Audi Polo Challenge

A few miles from St. Paul’s Cathedral, King Charles, 75, hosted the first garden party of the season at Buckingham Palace. The royal family has organized garden parties have been held since the 1860s as a way for the monarch to recognize community members for their public service. The festive event was attended by Queen Camilla, Princess Anne, Prince Edward, Sophie, the Duchess of Edinburgh, Prince Richard and Birgitte, the Duchess of Gloucester.

SOAP 24H confirmed earlier this week that Prince Harry would not be able to meet with his father the King Charles during his U.K. stay due to the sovereign’s “full” schedule.

Queen Camilla attend a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace, central London, on May 8, 2024

“In response to the many inquiries and continued speculation on whether or not The Duke will meet with his father while in the U.K. this week, it unfortunately will not be possible due to His Majesty’s full program. The Duke of course is understanding of his father’s diary of commitments and various other priorities and hopes to see him soon,” a spokesperson for the Duke of Sussex said.

The King recently resumed public-facing duties while receiving cancer treatment, and Prince Harry was last in the U.K. in February to visit his father following Buckingham Palace’s announcement of the sovereign’s cancer diagnosis.

The Duke of Sussex then traveled to Canada for the Invictus Games Vancouver Whistler 2025’s One Year to Go celebration with his wife Meghan Markle, and revealed in an interview there that he hoped to see his father as much as possible.

 Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex attend the "Our Planet" global premiere the at the Natural History Museum on April 04, 2019 in London

When Good Morning America’s Will Reeve asked Harry about how he first learned of his father’s cancer diagnosis, Harry replied, “I spoke to him. I jumped on a plane and went to go see him as soon as I could.”

“Look, I love my family. The fact that I was able to get on a plane and go and see him and spend any time with him, I’m grateful for that,” he continued.

As for whether King Charles’ diagnosis could have a “reunifying effect” on the royal family, Harry, who spent time with Invictus Games competitors and their families at the countdown kickoff, said: “Absolutely. Yeah, I’m sure. Throughout all these families, I see it on a day-to-day basis, the strength of the family unit coming together.”

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex waves as he arrives to attend a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the Invictus Games, at St Paul's Cathedral in central London, on May 8, 2024
Prince Harry at the Invictus Games anniversary service at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London on May 8, 2024. 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex relocated to her home state of California after stepping back as working members of the royal family in 2020. Though Prince Harry has returned to the U.K. on several occasions, including for charity events and court cases he’s pursuing, he rarely reunites with King Charles or other family members.

Following his latest U.K. stay, U.K., Prince Harry and Meghan, 42, will visit Nigeria at the of the Chief of Defense Staff, the country’s highest-ranking military official.

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