Former President Obama, Bidens join Prince Harry at Invictus Games
Karwai Tang/WireImage via Getty Images(TORONTO) — Former President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, have joined Prince Harry for a surprise appearance at the U.S. versus France Invictus Games wheelchair basketball match.
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) September 29, 2017
Barack Obama and the Bidens walked on the basketball court in Toronto to thunderous applause by the crowd before taking their seats courtside.
Barack Obama and Michelle Obama were early supporters of the Invictus Games. Michelle Obama headlined the opening ceremony at the 2016 Invictus Games in Orlando with Prince Harry.
Michelle Obama and Jill Biden launched the Joining Forces initiative in 2011.
Joining Forces was created to rally all Americans to support service members, veterans and their families. The first lady and second lady worked with the public and private sector to ensure better programs and support are available for troops after they transition from the service, including education training and employment opportunities.
Just before the 2016 games, the Obamas took to Twitter to challenge Harry, the fifth in line to the British throne, in a video that went viral.
Prince Harry and the first lady revealed in an interview with “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts how the challenge by Barack Obama on the Invictus Games actually was conceived.
“The president kind of egged you on, dragged him into it,” Michelle Obama said, teasing Prince Harry.
Prince Harry added, “In summary, Mrs. Obama came to us with the challenge and I genuinely, I didn’t know what to do. She dragged her husband into it, who happens to be the president. Slightly awkward, and you know, it was, ‘Who can you call to top the president?'”
The first lady said that Barack Obama gave Prince Harry a challenge he couldn’t refuse, recalling the president telling the prince, “Well if you can get your grandmother to do this, then you can drop the mic.”
Prince Harry wasted no time accepting the challenge from the president, recruiting his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.
“I said, ‘You know what? Now that you’re so confident, I didn’t wanna have to ask the queen because I didn’t want to back her into a corner,'” Harry said. “But when I showed her the video and I told her she’s like, ‘Right. What do we need to do? Let’s do this.'”
The video showed Harry and Her Majesty looking at an Invictus brochure when they get a video from the Obamas accepting Harry’s challenge to the Invictus Games with a man in uniform behind them saying “Boom!” The queen says, “Oh really? Please,” and Harry adds “Boom!” with a grin.
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) April 29, 2016
Joe and Jill Biden shared the spotlight with Prince Harry last year for the second Invictus Games at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
The vice president joked with the audience last year that, “Jill went to London for the last [Invictus] Games and she spent too much damn time with Prince Harry.”
The fifth in line created a warm friendship with both the Obamas and the Bidens.
The Obamas visited the U.K. for a state visit in 2011 and Prince William, Princess Kate and Harry reciprocated inviting the president and first lady to Kensington Palace in April 2016. Prince Harry welcomed Barack Obama back in May of this year on the former president’s most recent European visit. In addition to Barack Obama offering his condolences for the latest terror attack, they discussed “a range of shared interests including support for veterans, mental health, conservation, empowering young people and the work of their respective foundations,” Kensington Palace said in a statement.
Prince Harry and Prince William both made visits to the White House during the Obama administration. Michelle Obama and Jill Biden pitched in, joining Harry to announce the U.S. launch of the Invictus Games in October 2015 with the first lady teasing Harry about his heartthrob status and asking Prince Harry if the U.K. was ready to “bring it” to the Invictus Games.
Neither Michelle Obama nor Prince Harry’s American girlfriend, Meghan Markle, attended the match.
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