With the Invictus Games reaching its halfway point in the Netherlands on Tuesday, Prince Harry has been busy cheering on competitors — and taking them on, too.
After watching wheelchair rugby teams from the UK and US take each other on (and joining both countries for supportive chats), the Duke of Sussex moved on to surprise athletes at a pop-up table tennis event on the grounds of The Hague’s Zuiderpark, where the games are taking place.
Although table tennis isn’t on the official list of events this year, The Invictus Games Dusseldorf 2023 in Germany has included the competitive sport in its lineup. To mark its inclusion, Harry agreed to buddy-up with 2021 Tokyo Paralympics silver medalist Thomas Schmidberger for a round of doubles.
“There’s no way I can keep up with you guys!” Harry laughed as they took on Paralympic gold medalist Valentin Baus and two-time competitor Sandra Mikolaschek. “This is harder than it looks!”
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Later in the evening, Harry joined Team Australia supporters to cheer on competitors in the swimming finals. He was joined by former British Army officers and close friend David Wiseman, who co-founded the Invictus Games with Prince Harry.
“When Prince Harry is around veterans, when he’s around other service personnel, he really comes alive, and that’s entirely down to his own background: 10 years of service, two tours of duty in Afghanistan, he’s one of us,” Wiseman shared in a chat on Monday.
April 19 was also a day that saw Team Ukraine add more medals to their growing collection. Dmytro Afanasyev, Vasyl Stuzhenko, and Serhiy Kalytiuk won silver in archery, Anna-Sofiia Puzanova won bronze in women’s archery, and Oleksiy Bobchynets also won a bronze medal in the 1,500-meter sprint.
Earlier in the week, the Duchess of Sussex showed her support for Ukraine during a family event at the UK embassy tent for the Royal British Legion on the grounds of the Invictus Games. Sitting with children of British competitors, the duchess painted the Ukrainian flag with the word “peace” written across it.
British Army veteran James Stride, who read to the children from the book Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy, later shared that Meghan was “chatty. . . She said she wanted to be with children as she was missing her own. “
New photos released by the couple’s Archewell team today, also showed Meghan playing with two-year-old Harrison, who’s mom Sherry McBain is competing for Team UK in the archery and sitting volleyball events.
“[Meghan] was like ‘Harrison, that’s Archie’s middle name’, and [my wife] Mandy was like ‘Yeah, I know,’ ”Sherry later revealed to the Press Association. “They were just having a chat because Harry and Meghan couldn’t decide between Archie and Harrison for the first name.”
Tomorrow sees the Invictus Games continue with Harry scheduled to attend a number of sporting events throughout the day, including indoor rowing and more wheelchair rugby.
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