"We can't wait to bring our kids also so they can experience just how awesome this is," the Duchess of Sussex said
On Tuesday, the Duchess of Sussex, 42, joined her husband at the 2023 Invictus Games — an international adaptive sports competition for injured, sick and wounded service personnel and veterans — in Düsseldorf, Germany.
Meghan made her debut at the Family & Friends party with Prince Harry on Tuesday evening after traveling in from California, and shouted out their kids Prince Archie, 4, and Princess Lilibet, 2, in a sweet kickoff speech.
"It is so special to be here, and I'm so sorry that I was a little late for the party. Just like so many of you, we know this is about family and friends and the community that Invictus has created, that Fischer House has created, and so I had to just spend a little bit more time getting our little ones settled home,” the Duchess of Sussex said, according to Hello!. “Getting milk shakes, doing school drop off and then I just landed a couple of hours ago. I am thrilled that the first event that I can do with Invictus is here with all of you.”
“It is amazing, and I hear the week so far has been off to a good start — is that right?” she continued, as the crowd cheered.
Meghan went on to thank the Fisher House for organizing the festive event, and revealed that she recently paid a visit to one of the foundation’s Los Angeles hubs. The Fisher House Foundation provides a home away from home for military and veteran families while their loved ones are hospitalized, and operates 94 Fisher Houses in the U.S., U.K. and Germany.
“I was fortunate to go and visit one of their houses in Los Angeles just a couple of weeks ago and I was so moved by everything that they do. As they understand, as you do, as my husband does in creating the Invictus Games, how much the value of rehabilitation matters not just as a solitary experience, but as a family,” Meghan said. "So I'm really proud to be part of this Invictus family with all of you. I'm grateful for all of you that are here. We've also received a few gifts from the Canadian team. We got a bracelet and on that bracelets they put the initials of one of the people who wasn't able to make it here tonight."
“There are so many people we know back home who are rooting for all of you, even if they can't be here [with] you, they are here in spirit. Thank you, thank you also for this amazing band and we're looking forward to such a fantastic week," the Duchess of Sussex said, before giving another shoutout to Archie and Lili.
"Have the best time, we're cheering for you, and we can't wait to bring our kids also so they can experience just how awesome this is,” she concluded, per Hello!. “Thank you guys so so much.”
Giving a peek behind the scenes, the Invictus Games Foundation posted photos of Meghan, plus a shot of her and Harry walking in a hallway. The Duchess of Sussex held hands with Yuliia “Taira” Paievska of Team Ukraine, one of the competitors Netflix cameras followed for Heart of Invictus. The new docuseries follows competitors from six countries preparing for the Games at The Hague in April 2022, and comes from Archewell Productions (Harry and Meghan's production hub) in partnership with the Invictus Games Foundation.
“It was wonderful for The Duke and Duchess of Sussex to join us for the Family & Friends party to celebrate the importance of those closest to us and the role they play in the recovery of our community members,” officials wrote on X.
Prince Harry, 38, founded the Invictus Games in 2014. He was inspired to launch the Paralympic-style sports tournament after attending the 2013 Warrior Games in the U.S., amplifying the transformative physical, psychological and social powers of sport for those who have served.
Price Harry's trip to Germany follows a quick stop in the U.K., where Harry stepped out last Thursday at the annual WellChild Awards, supporting the charity for seriously ill children that he's been the patron of for 15 years. He also traveled to St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle for a visit to his grandmother Queen Elizabeth's burial site on the first anniversary of her death on Sept. 8.
It was first confirmed in August that Harry and Meghan would attend the Invictus Games together, with a spokesperson telling PEOPLE, "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are delighted to attend the Invictus Games 2023 in Düsseldorf."
The statement also explained, "The Duke will be in attendance throughout the entirety of the games and will be joined by The Duchess shortly after the games begin.”
The 2023 Invictus Games opened on Saturday, officially began on Sunday and are set to run until Sept. 16 for the tournament’s sixth cycle. The event has previously been held in London (2014), Orlando (2016), Toronto (2017), Sydney (2018) and The Hague (2022). In 2025, the Invictus Games will return to North America and take place in Vancouver and Whistler, Canada.
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Prince Harry and Meghan famously made their debut as a couple at the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto, where she lived while filming Suits. Meghan has supported Invictus ever since, attending the Sydney games with her husband in 2018 (days after Kensington Palace announced she was pregnant with her first child Archie) and at The Hague in the Netherlands last spring.
She graced the stage on both occasions, delivering remarks at the Invictus closing ceremony in 2018 and introducing Harry at the opening ceremony in April 2022, where they shared a sweet kiss.
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