PRINCE HARRY met the sovereign of The Netherlands, King Willem-Alexander, on the final day of the Invictus Games. Prince Harry was spotted giving a warm welcome to the Invictus Games to King Willem-Alexander, the Dutch head of state. The Duke of Sussex, wearing a dark blue suit and a blue shirt, was all smiles as he shook hands with the sovereign.
Also sporting a smart casual look, Willem-Alexander briefly stopped to pose for a picture before being accompanied inside the venue where veterans and service personnel from around the world are taking part in the last competitions of this year’s event.
The two royals were accompanied by Mart de Kruif, chairman of the ongoing tournament at The Hague. Harry and the monarch were later spotted inside the stadium, where they watched together a wheelchair basketball match between the Dutch and US team.
In one picture, King Willem-Alexander appears to be in stitches while Prince Harry speaks to him. Fans of the Duke of Sussex were quick to react to the cheerful photographs, with one seemingly mocking claims the Dutch King would snub the Invictus Games despite taking place in his country.
Sharing two snaps of Willem-Alexander and Harry looking at ease with one another, Twitter user @InvictusbyPepp wrote: “This is what ‘snubbing’ looks like, eh…” Replying to this tweet, @ritaag wrote: “King Willem and King Harry look like they are having a good time. I expect Trolls to be pressed because I said King Harry”.
Another, @Portlandia62, tweeted: “Oh look “I think this qualifies as having an audience with Willem-Alexander. Well done, Harry. Great Games. Commenting on the snaps, @factsand2cents added: “Oh look it’s Prince Harry and King Willem laughing and having a great time together @InvictusGamesNL”
The Dutch and British royal families have close links, as demonstrated in late March. King Willem-Alexander travelled to London last month alongside his wife Queen Maxima and his mother and former Queen, Princess Beatrix, to attend the service of thanksgiving for Prince Philip.
After the poignant ceremony, attended by several foreign royals, Beatrix also headed to a reception held in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Anglo-Netherlands Society, where she was joined by the Queen’s cousins the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester. King Willem-Alexander is expected to also attend the closing ceremony of the Games, taking place later today.
While this edition of the Games is ending today, the Duke has already whipped up excitement for the upcoming tournaments. Next year, veterans and military personnel who have experienced physical or mental issues during service will take part in the Games in Dusseldorf, Germany. But, as announced earlier today by the Duke, the Invictus tournament will undergo a few key changes in 2025. King Willem-Alexander is expected to also attend the closing ceremony o the Games, taking place later today.
“The Invictus Games Vancouver-Whistler 2025 will offer a global platform to expand the range and profile of winter adaptive sports. “With deep respect, I am also pleased to share that the Games in Canada will be held in partnership with the First Nations, in the spirit of truth and reconciliation with indigenous communities.”
In 2017, the Invictus Games took place in Toronto – where Meghan and Harry made their first official appearance together. Prince Harry founded the Games to raise the profile and visibility of ill, injured and sick veterans and service personnel as well as to highlight the healing power of community and sports.