Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are being heavily criticised for cancelling an Invictus Games fundraiser for wounded soldiers, a move which is being linked to their recent deal with streaming giant Netflix.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were due to make keynote speeches at a music and comedy show set to be held in California in June next year. The organisers of the fundraiser were hoping to raise £1 million for the Invictus Games Foundation, a patronage of the British prince which he established in 2014. Several A-list stars including Beyonce and Ed Sheeran were listed to perform at the event, reports Daily Mail.

However, officials at the Invictus Games Foundation were informed last week that the event which was scheduled to be streamed on Amazon Prime is being dropped. The cancellation came shortly before the Sussexes' announced a £112 million deal with US streaming service Netflix.

According to a report in the Sunday Times, the lawyer for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex also cited a "conflict" of plans with another streaming service. A source involved in the planning of the event told the outlet: "It's very bad form and everyone at Invictus is gutted. Harry said yes to doing this last year and everything was still moving forwards until a few weeks ago."

"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 insider added.

However, an Invictus spokesperson has insisted that the event was "shelved" due to the COVID-19 crisis and the need for social distancing, noting that the decision was independent of the couple's Netflix deal.

"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 spokesperson said.

The 2020 Invictus Games due to be held in The Hague, in April this year was also called off after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in March. The foundation announced in July that the postponed games will still be held in The Hague, from May 29 to June 5 next year.

Meghan Markle
25 September 2017: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry sit together during a wheelchair tennis match at the Invictus Games 2017 Chris Jackson/Getty Images for the Invictus Games Foundation

The Invictus Games is an international adaptive multi-sport event established by Harry in which wounded, injured, or sick armed services personnel and their associated veterans from across the world take part in nine sports including wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, and indoor rowing.