And so the Invictus Games are officially open and underway. Prince Harry traveled to Toronto at the end of last week to meet and greet athletes, visit with participating government officials and representatives and host the opening ceremony. The headline news, of course, is that Meghan Markle turned up for the launch on Saturday night.
Harry made his debut in the city on Friday at a conference with True Patriot Love, a Canadian foundation focused on military families.
He spent Friday afternoon touring facilities, meeting with athletes and generally helping to kick off and publicize the event. Social media’s favorite moment from the day:
Moving on to the good stuff: Meghan Markle. Given that the Invictus Games take place in Toronto, Meghan’s home base, there was particularly fevered speculation that she would show up this weekend, marking her first appearance at an official royal event. And while there’s been a lot of hype about protocol and what her attendance would mean…um, it actually doesn’t mean much in and of itself. Meghan has always been free to join one of these types of engagements – just as Harry has included former girlfriends and Kate turned up at a handful before she married the Duke of Cambridge.
Even so, naturally it is a significant moment that she was in the audience last night. It’s also completely understandable given that this is arguably Harry’s biggest professional event each year, she was nearby and presumably she wanted to support him. She sat with a mutual friend and eagle-eyed royal reporters noted that one of Harry’s protection officers was nearby to ensure her safe arrival and exit.
And if this does go the way we hope, let us all take note that Meghan made her royal debut in purple leather.
Harry gave a great speech – one which brought the audience to its feet, including Meghan:
While Meghan ducked out a little before the event concluded, Harry remained in the same box of seats that contained Melania (to whom he sat next) and Trudeau.
Today the games are officially underway and Harry has been out and about supporting the program and British teams. It’s unclear whether or not Meghan will turn up throughout the week, but a closing ceremony is scheduled for the 30th, so we’ll see…
And you can stay up to speed with the week’s events by following @InvictusToronto on Twitter.