Jill Biden teams up with Prince Harry on Monday to celebrate the Warrior Games, the first event for the two since she entered the White House.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Ken Fisher, Chairman and CEO of Fisher House Foundation, will join the duo for the virtual event, which will honor Warrior Games athletes, their families and caregivers.
Jill Biden and Prince Harry are in a relationship before she became First Lady thanks to their work on veteran issues and with military families, with Jill and Joe Biden having attended his Invictus Games in the past.
Despite their 33-year age difference, Jill and Harry bonded over their shared interest in veterans’ affairs.
But this is their first event together since she became first lady and since Harry and his wife Meghan moved to the United States. The Duchess of Sussex was not on the list of participants for Monday’s event.
Jill Biden, Prince Harry and Austin planned to attend the games in person before the games were canceled due to the COVID pandemic, the east wing of the White House said in a statement Sunday night.
Harry’s pairing with the US first lady could upset London’s feathers and raise concerns that Harry and Meghan will become involved in US politics. Traditionally, members of the royal family are expected to remain politically neutral at all times.
Jill Biden and Prince Harry will team up on Monday to celebrate the Warrior Games – above two at the Invictus Games in Orlando in May 2016
Despite their 33 year age difference, Jill and Harry have bonded with their work on veteran issues – above they attend the Invictus Games in September 2017
Jill Biden with Prince Harry at the Invictus Games in Orlando in May 2016
Jill Biden and Prince Harry were due to attend this year’s Warrior Games together in person before it was canceled due to COVID – above Harry attended the Warrior Games in Colorado, Springs, Colorado, in May 2013
Prince Harry and Jill Biden watch the Invictus Games in London in September 2014
The Department of Defense Warrior Games is an annual event, first held in 2010, that celebrates the resilience of wounded, sick, and injured active duty and veteran U.S. military service members.
The 2021 Warrior Games were scheduled to begin in person this week in Orlando, Florida, but were canceled due to the health concerns surrounding the COVID pandemic.
Prince Harry first attended the Warrior Games in 2013 in Colorado.
Jill Biden has made military families one of her priorities as first lady through her Joining Forces Initiative, which she also worked on when she was second lady.
Harry also started the Invictus Games for wounded warriors, which Jill Biden has attended with him.
The two games “share a deep boundary,” Jill’s office said.
Visiting the UK in June for the G7 summit – where she had separate meetings with Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge and the Queen – Jill Biden praised the great work of Prince Harry’s Invictus Games as she met British veterans as part of its Joining Forces Initiative.
Jill Biden and Prince Harry both have strong ties to the armed forces; Harry served 10 years in the British Army (left), while Jill’s late stepson Beau was a major in the US Army (right)
President Joe Biden and Jill Biden are friends with Prince Harry; they attended the Invictus Games with him in 2017
Jill Biden and Prince Harry attend the Wheelchair Basketball Final on Day 8 of the Invictus Games Toronto 2017 on September 30, 2017
Joe Biden with Prince Harry at the Invictus Games in Orlando in May 2016 – Joe Biden joked that Prince Harry spent too much time with his wife
Jill Biden praised the great work of Prince Harry’s Invictus Games as she met British veterans during a visit to the UK in June
Jill Biden also met Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, at a preschool education event during her visit to the UK this summer
She had kind words for the games Prince Harry set up for disabled veterans and for Walking with the Wounded, another veteran group championed by the Duke of Sussex.
“I’ve done a lot with the Invictus Games and Walking with the Wounded. Joe and I met them. So there are so many connections and that’s why it was important to hear their stories and how they’ve been victorious,” she said of her interest in veterans’ affairs.
Jill Biden is also the daughter of a World War II veteran, and her late son Beau served in the Delaware National Guard. When she became first lady, she restarted Joining Forces, the group for military families she originally started with Michelle Obama.
Jill Biden was a patron of Walk of America, a 2018 expedition led by Walking with the Wounded, a group that Prince Harry was a patron of. Harry walked with six veterans – three Americans and three British – on one of their British stages.
Harry and Jill’s longstanding friendship dates back to May 2013 when they met at a reception for American and British wounded soldiers in Washington, D.C.
They seemed to form an instant bond when Jill traveled solo to London the following year for Harry’s inaugural Invictus Games, where they were pictured beaming together at several of the events.
Joe joked that he was “a little concerned” about how much time Harry and Jill were spending together, a joke the then vice president repeated in 2016 when his wife met the prince again at the Orlando Games.
“Jill went to London for the last Games. She spent a hell of a lot of time with Prince Harry,” he said.
The Bidens further attended the Games in Toronto in 2017 – the same year Harry first appeared in public with Meghan.