Meghan Markle and Prince Harry got down to business after they arrived in Europe ahead the Invictus Games over the weekend. In a rare public outing, the Duke & Duchess of Sussex were spotted attending a special reception for the international sporting event in The Hague, the Netherlands on Friday (April 15). They also made an appearance at a welcome event for athletes from the United States and Ukraine hosted by The Hague’s US Embassy.
The royal couple was all smiles as they stopped to chat with members of the Ukrainian team. Meghan, 40, looked sophisticated chic in her camel coat, as her trademark chestnut tresses were left long and loose. Prince Harry, 37, cut a dashing figure in a navy sports coat and white oxford.
Fans of the royals expected the adorable couple to be in attendance, as Prince Harry founded the tournament for injured and sick service members and veterans back in 2014. The trip marks the first time the couple have been back to Europe since they quit the royal family in 2020. The day before, they even stopped at Buckingham Palace to say hello to Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth.
After being postponed in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, the Invictus Games returns in all their glory this year to “harness the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding and respect for those who serve their country,” per the event’s website. More than 500 participants from 20 nations will compete in ten sports, such as weightlifting, basketball and archery, for the fifth iteration of the Games since its debut in London in 2014. “We believe the next Invictus Games will act as an inspiration to competitors and those attending or watching at home,” Chairman of the Invictus Games Foundation, Sir Keith Mills, said in a statement.
Prince Harry was inspired to organize the Games after he attended the 2013 Warrior Games in the United States, a competition held for wounded American veterans. “He saw how the power of sport could help physically, psychologically and socially,” reads the Invictus Games website. “His mind was made up. London would host the inaugural Invictus Games, an international sporting event for wounded, injured and sick Service personnel.” At the time of the first Games debut, Prince Harry said in a statement, “At its heart, the Invictus Games is about empowering every single person around the world. It’s a worldwide display of resilience, determination, and community for which each of us can draw inspiration.”
The son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana undoubtedly holds the tournament close to his heart, as he is a combat veteran himself, having spent ten years in the British army, eventually rising to the rank of Captain. The Games are scheduled from April 16 through April 22.