Prince Harry and Meghan: A Surprising Turn at the Invictus Games in Düsseldorf

2023-09-16 13:50:00

Prince Harry hadn’t landed last week when there was the first misunderstanding: is his wife Meghan now hosting the farewell show of the Invictus Games in Düsseldorf or not? In the summer, the Invictus team told the “Rheinische Post” that Meghan was taking on this “very emotional element” “personally”. Shortly before the start, the organizers backtracked. Has Meghan changed her mind? Or is she the surprise coup? But then why the news in advance?

Jennifer Wiebking

Editor in the “Life” department of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

So it got off to a good start, in true Harry and Meghan style, where it’s never clear whether they enjoy or hate the public stage they’re creating for themselves – and end up blaming the rest of the world for even looking. Public interest is the great curse of his and, for a long time, her life. You can neither with nor without.

The Megxit, the interview, the book, the podcast

By this summer at the latest, the glamor couple will have reached the lowest point of their popularity. After moving to California (“Megxit”), after the Oprah interview with accusations of racism against the royal family and the subsequent written reckoning in his autobiography (“Reserve”), after an embarrassing Netflix series and a flopped podcast on Spotify Apparently even the neighbors in Montecito no longer know anything about them. The family is once again looking for a new home, they say.

Prince Harry with athletes from the Invictus Games in Düsseldorf: Image: dpa

But the couple currently not only has historically few points of sympathy, but is also in Düsseldorf this week. And here something unexpected happened on Tuesday evening at the latest. Meghan had landed from Los Angeles a few hours earlier, was now standing on an Invictus stage and apologized for the delay. “Sorry, I’m a little late.” Her husband had been in the middle of this for days at this point. Had failed at the goal wall of the “Current Sports Studio” on ZDF and had a fans scarf put on him, had been present on the sidelines of the wheelchair rugby and had made the effort to speak a few words of German. Charm offensive at its finest. He didn’t even have to shout “I’m from Düsseldorf”. Prince Harry is also close to us this week – and suddenly comes across as nice again in his role as patron of the games.

A mischievous smile or a strained look? Both are known from Harry

Of course, it shouldn’t be about him at all, but about the soldiers injured in the war who are competing here in sports competitions that are being held in Germany for the first time. But it’s his Invictus Games, which he founded after he was stationed in Afghanistan for a few weeks in 2008 until the press got wind of it and the public took away this life experience from him. And Prince Harry later channeled his anger about it into something productive for once. This week he doesn’t give his charity project the Prince Harry face with the strained look, but the one with the mischievous smile.

Friendly handshake with Köbes: Harry and Meghan on Thursday evening in a Düsseldorf Altbier pub: Image: Picture Alliance

You can certainly see it differently. As always, in a story about someone who says little but is photographed a lot, there’s a lot of guesswork involved. The “Bild” newspaper saw a tired Harry in a photo from Tuesday evening because he wasn’t smiling during a standing reception. And did he answer the questions in the “sports studio” annoyed or patiently? But at least Meghan was unmistakably laughing when she arrived in Düsseldorf. As the paparazzi photos prove it, she even chatted with the driver on the way into town! And how Harry took a friendly photo with the Köbes in a Düsseldorf Altbier pub on Thursday evening (what was probably served was knuckle and black pudding). You have to like people like that, right?

“Humanity in its most beautiful form”

Even the British media is unusually benevolent. Last December, the London “Times” had the most entertaining reviews about the worst Netflix documentary of all time (“Harry & Meghan”). The new documentary about the Invictus Games, also on Netflix and with Harry in the lead role, is, according to the Times, downright brilliant. (“Humanity at its finest,” “Contrast to the narcissism of previous ‘H&M’ efforts”).

This week, with us, Prince Harry can be seen in his best and most credible role. Well, here too – or so they say – he may be staying in a luxury hotel with an elevator from the underground car park to the presidential suite, which allows him maximum isolation away from the games and evening events. But apart from that, the Sussex couple doesn’t put on their “we” show in front of the camera or explain the modern system of values.

Published/Updated: Recommendations: 4 Johannes Leithäuser, London Published/Updated: , Recommendations: 14 Anke Schipp Published/Updated: , Recommendations: 39

The Invictus Games, whether with or without Meghan moderating the farewell show this Saturday, are certainly a touch bigger than the opening of a hospital, which active members of the Royal Family accompany with enthusiasm. Or the visit to a men’s prison that Duchess Kate made this week. But this couple also brings joy with their presence at wheelchair basketball. As if it doesn’t work for itself, but for people. Almost as if it were still part of a royal family.

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