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Meghan and Harry to attend Invictus Games event in Dusseldorf

Meghan and Harry to attend Invictus Games event in Dusseldorf

T

he Duke and Duchess of Sussex have touched down in Germany for an Invictus Games event, fresh from Meghan’s first in-person address in Britain since quitting as a working royal.

Harry and his wife are meeting with officials and potential competitors in Dusseldorf on Tuesday to mark the one-year countdown to the 2023 games in the city.

The duke founded The Invictus Games to aid the rehabilitation of injured and sick military personnel and veterans across the globe, by giving them the challenge of competing in sporting events similar to the Paralympics.

Prince Harry and Meghan in Dusseldorf

/ Stephen Lock / i-Images

The Dusseldorf games will take place in September 2023, with more than 500 competitors from 21 nations across 10 sports.

Harry opened his speech with a few words of German and wiped his brow to applause as he smiled in relief, adding: “That’s about where it stops.”

He also jokingly asked the people at the small reception whether the beer in Dusseldorf was better than in Cologne, to applause and nods of yes from those in attendance.

Marking the official One Year To Go event, he said: “It is my absolute honour, along with my wife, to invite the people of Germany to officially start the countdown to next September.”

The couple saying hi to the crowds

/ AFP via Getty Images

He encouraged everyone to “lead with our hearts and, most of all, enjoy the ride ahead”.

This year’s games took place in The Hague in April, and during that event a camera crew filming for a Netflix documentary called Heart Of Invictus – a series from Harry and Meghan’s Archewell Productions following people competing at the event – was seen close to the couple.

Harry and Meghan’s outing on Tuesday comes after they made their first public appearance in the UK since returning for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Meghan gave the keynote address in Manchester on Monday for the One Young World summit.

There’s one year to go until the 2023 Invictus Games in Dusseldorf

/ Getty Images for Invictus Games

The former actress told the 2,000 delegates how her life had changed when she last joined the summit in London in 2019 – singling out her role as a wife and a mother – but making no mention of becoming a senior royal the year before.

“I joined you in London in 2019. And by that point, it’s fair to say, my life had changed rather significantly. I was now married, and I was now a mom,” she said, leaving a pause at the end which was filled with huge cheers from the audience.

“My world view had expanded exponentially, seeing the global community through the eyes of my child,” she added, speaking about her son Archie.

The couple’s trip in the UK and Germany comes just days after Meghan’s wide-ranging interview with The Cut magazine, in which she said it takes “a lot of effort” to forgive and hinted that she can “say anything”.

The former Suits star said in that interview that “just by existing” she and Harry were “upsetting the dynamic of the hierarchy” before they stepped down as senior working royals in 2020.

During the proceedings on Monday, the couple sat in the front row on stage, side by side on a bench, as they joined One Young World counsellors to watch the flag bearers enthusiastically parading the flags of more than 200 countries.

Meghan and Harry in Manchester last night

/ AFP via Getty Images

Meghan swayed in time to the music, and Harry leaned over to whisper in his smiling wife’s ear a number of times.

The couple travelled by train from London to Manchester, and flew commercial from the US to the UK.

On Tuesday, they are expected to attend a reception in Dusseldorf in the early afternoon, before Harry delivers remarks at an Invictus press conference later in the day.

Brigadier General Alfred Marstaller, chief executive of the Invictus Games Dusseldorf, said those involved were “honoured” to welcome the couple for the event.

They are due to return to the UK for the WellChild Awards in London, where Harry will deliver a speech on Thursday.

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