meghan markle and prince harry with their two children

 

Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle arrived Friday in the Netherlands for the Invictus Games, marking the couple’s first public appearance in Europe since formally giving up their royal roles. The pair were all smiles as they greeted competitors at the Invictus Games. Harry is a founder and patron of the international sports competition.

 

 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
The event came a day after the couple visited Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle on their first joint visit to the U.K. since moving to America. The couple’s office says they visited the 95-year-old queen, Harry’s grandmother, Thursday on their way to the Netherlands.

 

 

The week-long games are for active servicemen and veterans who are ill, injured or wounded. Harry and Meghan received an enthusiastic welcome from cheering competitors at the games site in a park in The Hague. The event opens Saturday and continues through April 22.

 

 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Harry and Meghan stepped down as senior working royals and moved to North America in 2020, citing the unbearable pressure of their roles and racist attitudes of the British media. Meghan opted for an all-white pantsuit for the event while Harry wore a dark suit.

 

 

Although this is the first time the royal couple has made their return together to the U.K., Harry has been back for two occasions. Nearly a year ago, he returned for his grandfather Prince Philip’s funeral in April 2021 and then again in July 2021 to witness the unveiling of a statue in honor of his late mother, Princess Diana.

 

 

Harry and Meghan are expected to attend a reception in The Hague on Friday for the Invictus Games. The former American actress previously joined the British prince at the Toronto Games in 2017, which marked their first appearance as a couple. They announced their engagement two months later.

Prince Harry in suit and Meghan in red gown

This year’s games were originally scheduled for 2020. However, they were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Harry, who served 10 years in the British Army, has been a champion of causes that benefit both servicemen and women. He has been involved with the Walking with the Wounded charity and the Endeavor Fund, which honors veterans. Just days after welcoming his son Archie in May 2019, he traveled to the Netherlands to kick off the official countdown to the 2020 games.

 

As for the former “Suits” star, she traveled to Afghanistan in December 2014 on a USO tour. The visit to the queen came on Maundy Thursday, a day in the week before Easter that the queen for decades marked by distributing silver coins known as “Maundy money” to pensioners at a church service.

Harry and Meghan have been accused

 

This year, the queen, who has been experiencing mobility issues in recent months and came down with COVID-19 in February, did not attend. She was represented by her eldest son, Prince Charles, and his wife Camilla. The monarch also is expected to miss the royal family’s Easter Sunday church service. She has continued to perform royal duties, including virtual audiences with politicians and diplomats.

Markle became the Duchess of Sussex when she married Harry in May 2018 at Windsor Castle. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s departure from royal duties began in 2020. The family now lives in the coastal city of Montecito, California.

Harry and Meghan raised their concerns for Ukrainians

“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution,” the couple said in a joint statement in early 2020. “We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the royal family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support her majesty the queen.”

Since then, reports of an alleged rift have emerged after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex gave a bombshell interview to Oprah Winfrey last year that was viewed by nearly 50 million globally. For their current visit to the U.K., it’s been reported the pair did not bring their two young children with them.

meghan markle and prince harry with their two childrenThe pair’s trip comes on the heels of Harry’s legal team telling a court hearing in February that the royal is unwilling to bring his children to his homeland because it is not safe to do so. Harry has launched a legal challenge against the U.K. government’s refusal to let him personally pay for police protection when he visits Britain.

While senior members of Britain’s royal family are given taxpayer-funded police protection, Harry lost that when he and Markle stepped down as working royals and moved to the U.S.

Harry wants to be able to pay for his protection, saying his private security team in the U.S. doesn’t have adequate jurisdiction abroad or access to U.K. intelligence information.

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