Harry and Meghan have cancelled a star-studded fundraising event for the Invictus Games due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex had been set to make speeches at the music and comedy concert, which would have been broadcast on Amazon in June 2021. It was hoped the event would raise around £1,000,000 for the Invictus Games Foundation.
Initially it was reported that a lawyer for Meghan and Harry had told the foundation they would not be able to speak at the fundraiser due to a ‘conflict’ of plans with another streaming service. The couple have just signed a deal to make ‘impactful content’ with Netflix.
Officials at the foundation were said to have been ‘stunned’ after receiving news of the cancellation shortly before the Netflix deal was announced, The Sunday Times reported.
But a spokesperson for the foundation said the cancellation is not linked to the Sussexes’ ventures and is because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The spokesperson said: ‘The event was shelved because the primary revenue generator was ticket sales from a live concert in Los Angeles in the spring of 2021.
‘Given current circumstances with Covid, the event needed to be reconceptualised. This was an independent decision made prior to a partnership with Netflix. The duke remains committed as ever to the Invictus Games.’
The fundraiser, which had Beyonce and Ed Sheeran lined up to perform, would have been held at the Hollywood Bowl in California.
A source who was part of planning the event had claimed that organisers were ‘gutted’ at Harry’s ‘bad form’ in cancelling after he agreed to do it last year, it was reported.
They said: ‘This was going to be a big moment for Invictus where the pot is pretty empty, and it has left them in the lurch. Harry needs to pull his finger out to find another way to raise funds for them.’
The Duke and Duchess signed a £112,000,000 deal with Netflix last week for a production company that would make ‘impactful content that unlocks action’ with documentaries, feature films, scripted shows and children’s shows.
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