Jill Biden and Prince Harry’s praised each other’s work with wounded warriors on Monday during their first even together since she became first lady and he moved to the United States.
‘You live by a simple principle – served together recovered together,’ she said to him.
‘It’s a philosophy, not limited by the flag you wear; your brothers and sisters in arms are connected by something so much deeper than the borders that separate us,’ she added.
And Prince Harry returned the praise, thanking the first lady for her support of veterans and their families.
‘Thank you for your service and your continued support over all these years. It’s been fantastic to see you in action in various parts of the world giving everything that you’ve got to so many people to not just those who wear the uniform but to the families as well. A lot of them wouldn’t be here without you so, so thank you,’ he said.
The two did not appear on screen together at the 30 minute virtual event for the honoring Warrior Games but Jill Biden could be heard saying ‘thank you’ off screen during Harry’s remarks.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Ken Fisher, Chairman and CEO of Fisher House Foundation, joined the duo, which honored Warrior Games athletes, their families, and caregivers.
Jill Biden praised Prince Harry’s work with wounded warriors on Monday during their first even together since she became first lady
Prince Harry thanked the warriors for their service and said the Warrior Games inspired his Invictus Games
Jill Biden and Prince Harry have a relationship prior to her becoming first lady thanks to their work on veterans’ issues and with military families, with Jill and Joe Biden having attended his Invictus Games in the past.
‘It’s hard to believe it’s been seven years since the first Invictus Games in London,’ Jill Biden said during Monday’s event. She attended that game with Harry.
Harry remembered the event.
‘Dr. Biden, it’s an absolute pleasure a joy to, to see you again after so many years as you quite rightly pointed out this week seven years ago I think was the first time that we met and the Invictus Games in London,’ he said.
Fisher moderated the event, which included appearances by some of the athletes who were scheduled to compete in the games, which were canceled due to the COVID pandemic.
He gave Harry a lengthy, glowing introduction where he called him a ‘humanitarian’ and ‘mental wellness advocate.’ He also gave considerable air time to Harry and his wife Meghan’s Archewell company and its various pursuits.
‘Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, who’s a humanitarian, mental wellness advocate, environmentalist and military veteran as co founder of Archewelle,’ Fisher said. ‘He is focused on driving systemic change across all communities through nonprofit work, as well as creative activations. The mission across Archewell, which currently includes Archewell Foundationa, Archewell Productions, and Archewell Audio, is united behind the deeply held belief that compassion is the defining cultural force of the 21st century.’
In his remarks, Harry, who served in Afghanistan while in the British Army, mentioned the Warrior Games was behind the inspiration of his Invictus Games for wounded warriors. He attended the Warrior Games in Colorado in 2013.
‘I will never forget that first visit I had to the Warrior Games, which inspired me to create the Invictus Games,’ he said. ‘The Invictus Games never would have been created, had I not been inspired by every single one of you and your companions, and the families for everything that you give to the service of this country.’
Despite their 33-year age gap, Jill and Harry have formed a bond 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 did not appear at Monday’s event.
Jill Biden, Prince Harry and Austin had planned to attend the games in person prior to the games being canceled due to the COVID pandemic, the East Wing of the White House said in a statement Sunday night.
‘Now, like all of you. I wish we were here in person today, celebrating your victories on the court at the track, or in the pool. You’ve worked so hard to prepare for these Warrior Games, only to have them taken away by the pandemic,’ Jill Biden told the athletes in her remarks.
‘Still, I know that once again, the uncommon strength and determination that has defined this community, push you to keep working and striving toward your goals. So I’m excited to hear from some of you today, and I can’t wait to see the rest of you and your families at the next games,’ she noted.
The pairing up of Harry with the American first lady could ruffle feathers in London and once again bring up concerns that Harry and Meghan will get involved in US politics. Traditionally, members of the Royal Family are expected to remain politically neutral at all times.
Jill Biden and Prince Harry paired up Monday to celebrate the Warrior Games – above the two at the Invictus Games in Orlando in May 2016
Despite their 33-year age gap, Jill and Harry have formed a bond with their work on veterans’ 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 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, Colo., in May 2013
Prince Harry and Jill Biden watch the Invictus Games together in London in September 2014
Jill Biden, Prince Harry and Michelle Obama at an event for wounded service members in Ft. Belvoir, Va., in October 2015
The Department of Defense Warrior Games is an annual event, first held in 2010, that celebrates the resiliency of wounded, ill, and injured active duty and veteran U.S. military service members.
The 2021 Warrior Games were slated to begin in-person this week in Orlando, Fla., but were canceled because of the health concerns surrounding the COVID pandemic.
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. Dr. Biden also this week returned to her job teaching in-person two days at week at a Northern Virginia community college.
Harry also started the Invictus Games for wounded warriors, which Jill Biden has attended with him.
The two games ‘share a deep bound,’ Jill’s office said.
During a June visit to the United Kingdom for the G7 summit – where she had separate meetings with Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, and The Queen – Jill Biden touted the great work of Prince Harry’s Invictus Games when she met with British veterans as part of her Joining Forces Initiative.
Jill Biden and Prince Harry both have strong ties to the armed forces; Harry spent 10 years serving in the British Army (left), while Jill’s late stepson Beau was a major in the US Military (right)
President Joe Biden and Jill Biden are friends with Prince Harry; they attended the Invictus Games with him in 2017
Joe Biden with Prince Harry at the Invictus Games in Orlando in May 2016 – Joe Biden has joked Prince Harry has spent to much time with his wife
Jill Biden touted the great work of Prince Harry’s Invictus Games when she met with British veterans in June during a visit to the United Kingdom
Jill Biden also met with Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, at an early childhood education event during her visit to the UK this summer
She had kind words for the games Prince Harry established for disabled veterans and for Walking with the Wounded, another veterans 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 with them. So there’s so many connections and that’s why it was important to hear their stories and and hear how they’ve triumphed,’ she said of her interest in veterans’ matters.
Jill Biden is also the daughter of a World War II veteran and her late son Beau served in the Delaware Army National Guard. When she became first lady, she restarted Joining Forces, the group for military families she originally began with Michelle Obama.
Jill Biden served as patron of Walk of America, a 2018 expedition led by Walking with the Wounded, a group Prince Harry was patron of. Harry walked with six veterans – three Americans and three British – during one of their UK legs.
Harry and Jill’s longstanding friendship stretches back to May 2013 when they met at a reception for US and British wounded soldiers in Washington, D.C.
They appeared to strike up an immediate bond as the following year Jill travelled solo to London for Harry’s inaugural Invictus Games, where they were pictured beaming together during several of the events.
Joe joked he was ‘a little worried’ about how much time Harry and Jill were spending together, a gag the then-Vice President repeated in 2016 when his wife again met the Prince at the Games in Orlando.
‘Jill went to London for the last Games. She spent too much damn time with Prince Harry,’ he said.
The Bidens further attended the Games in Toronto in 2017 – the same year that Harry stepped out in public with Meghan for the first time.