Prince Harry was known for years as the ‘joker’ of the royal family, and he will now get the chance to that infamous wit to the test when he takes part in a virtual comedy fundraiser for veterans in the US.
The 36-year-old will join a host of stars – including Bruce Springsteen and comedian Tiffany Haddish – at the annual Stand Up for Heroes event on November 18, when it will be broadcast online and on ABC News.
New of the Duke of Sussex‘s participation in the event comes just days after he and Meghan Markle sparked controversy by staging a photoshoot at the Los Angeles National cemetery on Sunday, where they marked Remembrance Day in the UK by visiting the graves of fallen Commonwealth soldiers.
Honoring heroes: Prince Harry is set to take part in a comedy fundraiser for veterans, it’s been revealed, days after he marked Remembrance Day with Meghan Markle at an LA cemetery
Controversy: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s decision to share images of the cemetery visit sparked backlash online, with some accusing them of turning it into a ‘publicity stunt’
The couple’s visit to the cemetery was captured by fashion photographer Lee Morgan – a move that sparked furious criticism from some who felt that they had turned the event into a ‘publicity stunt’.
Before stepping down as a senior royal earlier this year as part of Megxit, Harry – who spent many years serving in the army – marked Remembrance Day with a visit to the Cenotaph in London alongside many other members of the royal family, a tradition that he missed this year having moved to Los Angeles with Meghan and their son Archie in the spring.
However Harry will now have the chance to honor war heroes in the US with the stand-up event, which is set to take place exactly one week after Veterans Day in order to raise money for the Bob Woodruff Foundation, an organization that aims to ‘help veterans and military families thrive’.
‘For the last 14 years, the Stand Up for Heroes event has continued to inspire our nation and serves as a reminder of all of the brave individuals that have defended our country selflessly in our military,’ said Bob Woodruff, ABC News correspondent and co-founder of the Bob Woodruff Foundation.
‘This year, it is especially important that we unite to show support for their sacrifices as we come together virtually to stand up for our heroes.’
Stand Up for Heroes will air on ABC News Live, TikTok, Facebook Watch, Cheddar, Twitch and Armed Forces Network.
The event, held in partnership with the New York Comedy Festival, will see a host of famous faces take to the stage for musical and stand-up performances – and it will give Harry a chance to reunite with music icon Bruce, who previously shared the stage with the Duke in 2017 when he performed at the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games.
It is unknown exactly what Harry’s role in the event proceedings will be, however it is likely that he will open up about his own experiences in the military, something that he has done many times in recent years.
Memories: Prince Harry, 36, spent 10 years serving in the army, and before stepping down as a senior royal, he marked Remembrance Day in the UK by visiting the Cenotaph in London
Changes: The Duke, pictured in 2019, was said to be ‘deeply saddened’ when palace aides refused his request to have a wreath laid on his behalf at the Cenotaph on Sunday
Family: Prince William and Prince Charles attended the Remembrance Sunday proceedings in London without Harry, who relocated to Los Angeles earlier this year
Last week, the Duke of Sussex spoke about his cherished relationship with veterans during an appearance on the Declassified podcast, on which he described coming together with former soldiers ‘like meeting an old mate’.
On the podcast, which documents stories from the military community, the duke also spoke about his own service which included two tours of Afghanistan.
‘When I get asked about this period of my life I draw from memories, I draw from what I remember and who I remember,’ he said.
‘Like the first time we were shot at and who I was with, the casualties we saw, and those we saved. And the first medivac we escorted out of contact in a race against time.
‘Once served always serving, no matter what.
‘Being able to wear my uniform, being able to stand up in service of one’s country, these are amongst the greatest honors there are in life.
‘To me, the uniform is a symbol of something much bigger, it’s symbolic of our commitment to protecting our country, as well as protecting our values.
‘These values are put in action through service, and service is what happens in the quiet and in the chaos.’
During the interview, Harry also stressed the importance of Remembrance Day, describing it as a ‘moment for respect and hope’.
‘The act of remembering, of remembrance, is a profound act of honor,’ he said.
Reunited: Harry will be joined at the event by Bruce Springsteen, who performed at the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games in 2017 (pictured)
Stars: TV star Jon Stewart (left) will host the event, which will feature performances from Tiffany Haddish (right), Sheryl Crow, Brad Paisley, and Ray Romano
‘It’s how we preserve the legacies of entire generations and show our gratitude for the sacrifices they made in order for us to be able to live the lives we live today.’
Harry’s podcast interview was aired one day before he and Meghan visited the Los Angeles cemetery, which is located around 80 miles from their $14.5 million mansion in Montecito, where they live with their one-year-old son Archie.
During the visit, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex laid flowers picked from their garden at the cemetery’s two Commonwealth gravestones – one for an Airman who had served in the Royal Australian Air Force and one for a soldier from the Royal Canadian Artillery.
The couple also placed a wreath at an obelisk in the cemetery that features a plaque inscribed ‘In Memory of the Men Who Offered Their Lives In Defence Of Their Country’.
Harry wore his service medals as he lay a wreath on which he wrote: ‘To all of those who have served, and are serving. Thank you.’
Meghan and Harry have come under fire for arranging for a photographer to capture their personal act of Remembrance, with some branding the visit as a ‘publicity stunt’.
DailyMail.com’s editor-at-large Piers Morgan accused the couple of using it as a ‘PR opportunity’, writing on Twitter: ‘Just outrageous – treating Remembrance Sunday like a PR opportunity, & trying to steal headlines from the real royals doing their duty back home.’
Another Twitter user wrote: ‘There’s something really quite tasteless about Prince Harry and Meghan at a cemetery in California, with a photographer that just happened to be there, to make sure they can get in on the action too.’