Meghan, 42, touched down in in Düsseldorf, Germany, on Tuesday, September 12, joining Prince Harry for the Family & Friends party. “It is so special to be here, and I’m so sorry that I was a little late for the party,” she told attendees, per Hello! “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 was referring to son Archie, 4, and daughter Lilibet, 2, noting that she was “doing school drop off” shortly before catching her flight. “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,” she continued. “It is amazing.”
Meghan teased that she heard the week “has been off to a good start,” which was met with cheers from the crowd. She went on to thank the Fisher House Foundation, an organization that provides support for military and veteran families while service members are hospitalized. There are nearly 100 Fisher Houses operating across 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,” Meghan said. “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. I’m really proud to be part of this Invictus family with all of you.”
Meghan reiterated how “grateful” she felt to be attending the Games, revealing that she and Harry, 38, had “received a few gifts” from the athletes competing for the Canadian team.
“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. … We’re looking forward to such a fantastic week,” she concluded. “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.”
The Invictus Games Foundation shared a behind-the-scenes look at Meghan’s arrival via social media on Tuesday, noting, “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.”
Harry cofounded the Invictus Games — an international sports competition for injured, sick and wounded service people and veterans — in 2014. Three years later, Harry and Meghan made their public debut as a couple while attending the event in Toronto. The pair announced their engagement in November 2017, tying the knot the following May.
Meghan has since been a staple at the tournament, supporting her husband every step of the way. At the 2018 Sydney Games, Meghan thanked the Invictus family for “welcoming” her into the fold, adding, “I am truly so grateful to be a part of this with each and every one of you.”
The competition officially kicked off in Germany on Saturday, September 9, with Harry dropping in to surprise event volunteers that day. Days prior, he attended the 2023 WellChild Awards in London. His quick trip across the pond included a visit to St George’s Chapel on Friday, September 8, to pay his respects to the late Queen Elizabeth II on the first anniversary of her death.
“[This was] something he needed to do alone,” a source exclusively told Us. “Meghan stayed back with the kids and helped with a lot of last-minute work [ahead of] the Invictus Games.”