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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry hire ex-Obama Bush bodyguard: report

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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are protected by a bodyguard who watched over two American presidents.

The Invictus Games competition for injured service members and veterans opened on Saturday evening in the Netherlands with a standing ovation and a tribute from the Duke of Sussex to members of the Ukrainian team, who temporarily left their war-torn country. war to compete. The Duchess of Sussex joined her husband for the opening ceremony.

Harry founded the Invictus Games to help rehabilitate injured or ill service members and veterans by giving them the chance and challenge to compete in sporting events similar to the Paralympic Games.

It was the couple’s first public appearance since stepping back as senior members of Britain’s royal family two years ago, and during the event they were watched by former agent Christopher Sanchez. of the American Secret Service who spent five years under Presidents George W. Bush. and Barack Obama, according to the UK Times.


Christopher Sanchez watches Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend the Invictus Games 2020 The Land Rover Challenge at Zuiderpark on April 16, 2022 in The Hague, Netherlands.
(Samir Hussein/WireImage)

Sanchez currently works for a firm that offers bespoke security packages to wealthy clients, including corporate executives and diplomats.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived in the UK from California with their bodyguard last week and paid a private visit to Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, on Thursday.

Sanchez was one of five bodyguards protecting the couple at the Invictus Games in the Netherlands this weekend. Sanchez, in particular, was seen watching Harry, 37, and Markle, 40, as they took part in the Land Rover Challenge on Saturday. The close protection expert also guarded a British Embassy tent while the Duchess took part in a reading lesson with competitors.

In 2020, Sanchez appeared on the “Always Moving Forward” podcast and described what it was like to work under the Bush and Obama administrations. He said both experiences were highlights of his career.

“Secret Service agents are the best in the world at what we do,” Sanchez said.


Meghan Markle and Prince Harry hire ex-Obama Bush bodyguard: report

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex during the Invictus Games Opening Ceremony at Zuiderpark on April 16, 2022 in The Hague, Netherlands.
(Patrick van Katwijk/Getty Images)

Sanchez also explained that one of his many roles is to make sure travel routes and locations are safe, a task he called “a logistical monster”.

According to the outlet, Sanchez’s career began in 1996 when he served as a police officer in Houston, Texas. Three years later, he joined the Secret Service. Sanchez joined the presidential protection detail for the last two and a half years of Bush’s presidency. Subsequently, he was involved in the transition when the Obamas entered the White House in 2009.

Sanchez left the Secret Service in 2013 and later worked with professional services firm PwC. The outlet shared that he is now the director of TorchStone, a security company that promises to “reduce our customers’ risk before something bad happens.” Sanchez is also listed as director of Texas-based Professional Protection and Investigations.

The Invictus Games are taking place in The Hague until April 22. It was reported that the Duchess would only stay for a few days and then return to the couple’s two children in California.


Meghan Markle and Prince Harry hire ex-Obama Bush bodyguard: report

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex watch the sitting volleyball competition on day two of the Invictus Games 2020 at Zuiderpark on April 17, 2022 in The Hague, Netherlands.
(Max Momby/Indigo/Getty Images)

In February, Harry’s lawyers told a court hearing that he did not want to bring his children to his homeland because it was unsafe. The prince has launched a legal challenge to the UK government’s refusal to let him personally pay for police protection in Britain.

At the time, Harry’s legal team said he wanted to bring his son Archie and daughter Lilibet to his home country from the US but thought it would be too risky without police protection.

Senior members of the British royal family enjoy taxpayer-funded police protection, but Harry lost it when he and Markle stepped down as senior royals and moved to the United States in 2020. The couple said their decision was due to what they described as unbearable intrusions. and the racist attitudes of the British media.

Harry noted that his private security team in the United States did not have adequate overseas jurisdiction or access to British intelligence information.


Meghan Markle and Prince Harry hire ex-Obama Bush bodyguard: report

Prince Harry, second left, and Meghan Markle, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, arrive at the Invictus Games site in The Hague, Netherlands, Friday, April 15, 2022.
(AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

At a hearing in the High Court in London, Harry’s solicitor Shaheed Fatima said the prince ‘doesn’t feel safe when he’s in the UK given the security arrangements he has. applied”.

“It goes without saying that he wants to come back to see his family and friends and continue to support the charities that are so close to his heart,” she said. “Above all, it is and always will be his home.

A lawyer representing the UK government, Robert Palmer, called Harry’s claim “incontrovertible and baseless”.

Palmer said in a written memoir that Harry’s offer to pay for police security was irrelevant because “police personal protective security is not available on a privately funded basis” .

The Associated Press contributed to this report.