Officials at the Invictus Games, the charity founded by Prince Harry that provides sporting events for wounded veterans across the world, were reportedly left “gutted” after lawyers for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex sent a letter cancelling a major fundraising event.
According to The Sunday Times, the decision to cancel the fundraiser was made around the time the couple finalized their negotiations with streaming giant Netflix. The fundraiser was supposed to comprise of a music and comedy show, with celebrities headliners such as Beyoncé and Ed Sheeran. The duke and duchess had also planned to each make a speech to highlight the work of the Invictus Games.
However, the program was slated to be broadcast on Amazon Prime, one of the rivals of Netflix. When Netflix agreed to a business relationship with the Sussexes — rumored to be worth as much as $100 million — the company allegedly demanded the duke and duchess cancel the Invictus event as part of the negotiations. The ex-senior royal couple allegedly cited this “conflict” to the charitable organization, via The Australian.
“It’s very bad form and everyone at Invictus is gutted,” said a source working for the charity.
“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,” the insider continued, adding he hopes the prince will still try to honor his commitments to raise funds for the organization.
That said, an official spokesman for Invictus claimed the decision to cancel the show — which was originally slated for spring 2021 — was due to COVID-19 and had been made before the Sussexes had completed their multi-million dollar deal.
Meanwhile, royal watchers have expressed their disappointment in the reported actions of the couple for abandoning what many had previously believed was one of the prince’s key achievements.
“It is a very very bad look for Harry and the Sussex brand to seem to choose commercial interests over long-standing charitable commitments,” noted Twitter user UKRoyalTea. “They could have tried to work an exception for this into the Netflix contract, but instead are damaging Invictus.”
As was recently covered by The Inquisitr, the new multi-year deal with the streaming platform allows the duo to produce a number of projects, including scripted series, documentaries, and children’s entertainment. There are reportedly two series already in the works, one focused on nature and another animated show that highlights female empowerment.