Prince Harry and Meghan land in Netherlands for Invictus Gameson April 15, 2022 at 5:36 pm

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The Sussexes make their first public appearance in Europe together since stepping back as senior royals.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (C) and his wife, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (R) arrive on the Yellow Carpet before the start of the Invictus Games in The Hague

Image source, EPA

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have arrived at the Invictus Games in the Netherlands, after stopping off to visit the Queen on their way.

It is the first time Prince Harry and Meghan have appeared in Europe in public together since stepping back as senior royals in 2020.

The pair visited Windsor Castle to see the monarch on their way to The Hague, from the US where they now live.

Prince Harry founded the games to help injured military veterans.

This year’s games start on Saturday and run until 22 April.

The couple, who have not been on this side of the Atlantic together since 2020, also saw Prince Charles while they were at Windsor Castle, the Sun newspaper reported.

On their arrival at the games the couple, both wearing suits, walked towards a reception for friends and family of participants in warm sunshine at the Zuiderpark, where the games are being held.

At one point Meghan waved towards the press pen and the pair walked into the reception hand-in-hand.

A film crew is expected to be joining the couple at the games as part of filming for a Netflix series called Heart Of Invictus.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (L) and his wife, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (R) arrive on the Yellow Carpet before the start of the Invictus Games in The Hague

Image source, EPA

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (right) and his wife, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (left) arrive on the Yellow Carpet before the start of the Invictus Games in The Hague

Image source, EPA

Their visit to see the Queen came after it was announced she was not expected to attend this year’s Easter morning church service, having already pulled out of the Maundy Service on Thursday – for the first time since 1970.

The 95-year-old monarch has mobility problems and has not appeared at several events recently, including the annual Commonwealth Service.

Last month Prince Harry was absent from a memorial service for his grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh, in London but at the time a spokesperson said he hoped to visit his grandmother soon.

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A touch of Hollywood drama

Analysis box by Sean Coughlan, royal correspondent

Prince Harry and Meghan remain big box office.

They might no longer be “working royals”, but their touchdown in the UK made instant headlines.

Their unpublicised visit to the Queen had a touch of Hollywood drama.

It will delight their supporters. But their challenge will be to build bridges with the parts of the public who have become more sceptical.

Why are they able to travel to the Netherlands, via Windsor, when they didn’t attend Prince Philip’s memorial in Westminster Abbey?

Will the Californian lifestyle seem out of touch with a public now worrying about gas bills?

After the disruption of two years of the pandemic, many families will be travelling this bank holiday to try to make re-connections and get back in touch.

Expect to see and hear more from Harry and Meghan over the bank holiday weekend ahead.

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The visit to Europe comes as Prince Harry is bringing a court challenge against the UK government’s decision to refuse police security during his visits from the US.

His lawyers previously said that the UK would “always be his home” and it “goes without saying that he does want to come back to see family and friends”.

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