Kate Middleton Continues Royal Duties Amidst Invictus Games Controversy
The Princess of Wales, 41, held an Early Years meeting at Windsor Castle, as reported by the Court Circular.
Kate's work through her Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood, aimed at promoting the importance of the first five years of a child's life, has seen significant acceleration over the past year.
This comes as Prince Harry and Meghan continue their week-long trip to Dusseldorf for the Invictus Games. However, there have been claims that the Invictus Games have not received the attention from senior royals that other sporting events enjoy, with Buckingham Palace criticized for not giving it enough recognition, which has been seen as 'petty and mean-spirited'.
Notably, the Prince and Princess of Wales were instrumental in the early stages of the Invictus Games, and the Royal Foundation, which Prince Harry was part of at the time, invested significant amounts of money in the event.
Some British athletes are now expressing frustration that their efforts are not being acknowledged by public figures, including senior royals, in the same way that competitors in other international events receive well-wishes. Critics argue that the royal family's grievances with Harry should not affect the recognition of disabled veterans who are competing.
In 2014, Prince Charles, Duchess of Cornwall, and Prince William attended the opening ceremony of the first-ever Invictus Games in London, but there has been little commentary from the royal family regarding the event in recent years.
An anonymous UK media strategist remarked, "It's ironic Buckingham Palace has had more to say about the Highland Games than the Invictus Games, despite the honorary military roles they hold. In doing so, the palace ends up looking mean-spirited and petty. The ill will against Harry should not be held against the Invictus competitors."
Former Royal Marine Ben McBean, who inspired Prince Harry to initiate the games, expressed understanding of both sides of the "rift" between the brothers but emphasized the importance of recognizing the team's efforts.
A Team UK insider noted that athletes find the lack of support from public figures "bizarre" but prefer not to get involved in the "royal crossfire."
A source within the UK team mentioned that due to the growing stature of the Invictus Games and the royal family's recent focus on sporting competitions, there could have been more support from back home.
Palace sources reportedly state that members of the Royal family typically do not involve themselves in each other's professional endeavors, and they would not expect the Duke to voice support for the finalists of Prince William's Earthshot Prize, for example.
Kate Middleton's recent meeting is just one of her royal engagements over the past week. On Tuesday, she visited HMP High Down in Surrey to learn more about the work of an addiction charity.
The Invictus Games is one of the significant projects Prince Harry has continued since departing from the royal family. His arrival in Germany was met with excitement from schoolchildren given time off from their studies to attend.
Prince Harry has expressed his intention to attend as many events as possible during the week-long competition. Meghan Markle joined him at the games, where they were seen cheering on participants in various sporting events. The Duchess was spotted wearing a stars and stripes badge as she enthusiastically supported the USA during a wheelchair basketball game against France.