The acknowledgment comes as the British Royal Family is embroiled in the latest chapter of the ‘royal racist’ row, which started when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle told Oprah Winfrey that a family member had ‘concerns’ about the color of Prince Archie‘s skin.
During brief remarks at the National Tree Lighting ceremony, Biden called attention to 43 members of Team USA who were in the audience and who had traveled to Düsseldorf, Germany in September for the Invictus Games – an event first lady Jill Biden had skipped.
‘Give them a hand,’ Biden told the crowd. ‘Jill and Prince Harry went to the first Invictus Games in ’14 and the Invictus Games in Ontario, I was there, in ’16 in Toronto. Anyway, there’s been great, great, great effort that we’ve seen.’
President Joe Biden (right), flanked by first lady Jill Biden (left), name dropped Prince Harry at Thursday’s National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony on the Ellipse. It comes as the Royal Family is embroiled in the latest chapter of the ‘racist row’
At the Christmas Tree Lighting, Biden (left) referenced how Dr. Jill Biden (center) attended the Invictus Games with Prince Harry (right) in 2014 and both Bidens went when they were held in Toronto, though the president messed up the year
The Toronto games were actually held in 2017.
Dr. Biden attended the 2016 Invictus Games when they were held in Florida.
‘And you know these athletes are incredible. Wounded warriors – from service branches, from every service branch, the essence of who we are as Americans,’ the president continued.
The ‘royal racist’ row took on new life after the publication of the Dutch version of Omid Scobie’s book Endgame, which inadvertently named two senior royals as the perpetrators
On September 1, the East Wing made it official that Dr. Biden, a staunch advocate for servicemembers, veterans and their families, would skip the 2023 Invictus Games in Düsseldorf.
The first lady instead attended a going-away dinner and addressed a group of 60 wounded, injured and ill active-service military members in Belvoir, Virginia.
DailyMail.com reported in July that Dr. Biden had wanted to attend the April 2022 Invictus Games in The Hague.
They would be the first games held since the COVID-19 pandemic, since the start of the Biden administration and since Harry and Meghan Markle left the royal family.
But the first lady ultimately didn’t go for fear of offending the British Royal Family, sources said.
British officials, in a working level conversation, conveyed to National Security Council staff that they thought the idea would land badly, a source said.
‘She wanted to go,’ a person familiar with the event told DailyMail.com of the first lady, but noted the East Wing was concerned the Palace could be hurt if she attended.
Several months later, after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wanted a ride back to the United States on Air Force One after the Queen’s funeral.
That request was quickly denied by the White House, as it was considered a ‘non-starter,’ sources told DailyMail.com.
‘It would have caused such a commotion. It would have strained relations with the Palace and the new King,’ another source told DailyMail.com.
Dr. Biden had enjoyed a close friendship with Prince Harry for years, bonding over their shared support for veterans.
During her time as second lady, she and first lady Michelle Obama launched Joining Forces to support military families.
Prince Harry founded the Invictus Games in 2014 after attending the Warrior Games in the U.S. the year before.