Prince Harry arrived at the opening ceremony of the Invictus Games in Germany, greeted by a jubilant crowd of royal fans.
The ceremony took place at Dusseldorf Town Hall, where over 100 people gathered, hoping for a chance to meet the prince in person.
Among the eager fans was 20-year-old Madeleine Durant, who drove two hours to be there, proudly holding up a banner expressing her admiration for Harry.
Protests Amidst the Celebration
While royal fans celebrated, a small group of protesters voiced their opposition to the German military’s involvement in the games for disabled and wounded military veterans.
These demonstrators, numbering about six, expressed concerns that the games could be used as a recruitment tool by the military.
One protester even held a banner reading ‘Bomber Harry,’ alluding to his past as an Apache helicopter gunner in Afghanistan.
Harry’s Unannounced Visit
Prince Harry’s visit to the Merkur Spiel-Arena in Düsseldorf came as a surprise.
This solo trip to the UK included an unpublicized visit to St George’s Chapel in Windsor, where he paid his respects to his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.
Following this solemn moment, he traveled to Germany for the Invictus Games.
Harry’s stay in Germany involves a luxurious £2,000 per night suite on the 17th floor of the Hyatt Regency hotel in Dusseldorf, complete with stunning views of the Rhine.
Meghan is expected to join him later during their eight-day stay.
The Invictus Foundation shared a photo of Harry with a group of volunteers who assess the athletes and their recovery.
Exciting Events Ahead
The Invictus Games, a sports event for wounded and disabled military veterans, will feature various competitions, including archery, swimming, and wheelchair rugby.
Over 500 competitors from 21 countries are participating, with sponsorship from the US-based Boeing firm.
The games are expected to draw a massive crowd of up to 100,000 attendees and will conclude with a speech by Prince Harry and a performance by singer Rita Ora.
Team UK’s Arrival
Teams from around the world have arrived in Dusseldorf, where they were greeted by the Games’ mascot, Buddy, a brown bear.
The UK team, consisting of 59 members, including 15 still serving in the military, made their way to Germany on an RAF transport jet.
Lt Commander James Rogers, the UK team captain, emphasized the sense of camaraderie and achievement among the participants.
Harry’s Solemn Departure
Before departing for Germany, Prince Harry attended the WellChild Awards in London, an event closely tied to him as its patron for 15 years.
This visit marked his first appearance in the UK since June.
Harry’s presence at the event was a poignant reminder of his grandmother’s passing, as he missed the awards last year due to her illness and subsequent death.
In his speech, he paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II’s enduring legacy and her dedication to the community.
Despite being in the same country as his brother, Prince William, Prince Harry did not meet with him before heading to Germany.