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Duke and Duchess of Sussex axe Invictus Games fundraiser

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have cancelled a planned star-studded fundraiser for the Invictus Games, reportedly because it's planned broadcast on Amazon caused a "conflict" with their new Netflix deal.

Prince Harry - who founded the competition for injured service personnel and remains as a patron of the event - and his wife Duchess Meghan had also been due to speak at the music and comedy show, which was due to take place in June 2021 in California but reportedly left officials "stunned" when their lawyers pulled the plug on the event last week.

Their team broke the news days before the couple's multi-million deal with Netflix was announced, and were said to have cited a "conflict" of interest because the show was due to be broadcast on Amazon.

A source told the Sunday Times newspaper: "It's very bad form and everyone at Invictus is gutted.

"Harry said yes to doing this last year and everything was still moving forwards until a few weeks ago.

"This was going to be a big moment for Invictus where the pot is pretty empty, and it has left them in the lurch. Harry needs to pull his finger out to find another way to raise funds for them."

The concert had been expected to take place at The Hollywood Bowl, with artists including Ed Sheeran and Beyoncé tipped to perform.

A spokesperson for Invictus insisted the event had only been cancelled as the coronavirus pandemic left life performances in doubt.

The representative said: "The event was shelved because the primary revenue generator was ticket sales from a live concert in Los Angeles in the spring of 2021.

“Given current circumstances with Covid, the event needed to be reconceptualised.

"This was an independent decision made prior to a partnership with Netflix. The duke remains committed as ever to the Invictus Games."

The Invictus Games Foundation has an annual income of less than £1m and has been running on donations, but chief executive Dominic Reid has said the tournament needs more professional fundraising events to continue.

Harry and Meghan - who stepped down as senior royals earlier this year - announced their Netflix deal last week.

The rumoured $100 million contract will reportedly cover unscripted TV series, documentaries, feature films and kids' programming.

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