The couple were both wearing suits for the Invictus Games reception in The Hague.
15 April 2022
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have made their first public appearance together in Europe since quitting as senior working royals more than two years ago.
The couple arrived at the Invictus Games in The Hague, the Netherlands, on Friday, after stopping off in the UK to visit the Queen and Prince of Wales.
Harry and Meghan have not been on this side of the Atlantic together since 2020.
They visited the Queen and met with the Prince of Wales in Windsor on Thursday, having flown in from their home in the US.
Harry and Meghan, both wearing suits, walked towards a friends-and-family reception in warm sunshine at the Zuiderpark, where the games are being held.
They were photographed and filmed by about 50 members of the media.
Harry wore a navy suit and Meghan wore an all-white suit with a white handbag.
At one point Meghan waved towards the press pen, and as they greeted people the couple placed their hands on each others’ backs.
The pair walked into the reception hand in hand.
Harry and Meghan’s trip to the UK came after the pair were absent from the Duke of Edinburgh’s memorial service in London last month.
Harry is bringing a claim against the Home Office after being told he would no longer be given the same degree of personal protective security when visiting from the US, despite offering to pay for it himself.
The duke wants to bring his children to visit, but he and his family are “unable to return to his home” because it is too dangerous, his legal representative has said.
A spokesperson for Harry confirmed earlier in March that he would miss the service for his grandfather, but that he hoped to visit the Queen soon.
On Thursday night, a spokesperson for the couple confirmed they visited the Queen ahead of their appearance at the Invictus Games.
Meghan’s attendance at the Invictus Games for the first few days of the event was confirmed by a spokesperson for the couple on Monday.
Her trip to the UK and the Netherlands is her first to Europe since she quit as a senior working royal back in 2020.
Harry flew back from California, without Meghan who was heavily pregnant at the time, to attend his grandfather’s funeral in Windsor in April 2021.
He most recently returned to the UK to unveil the statue of his late mother Diana, Princess of Wales on July 1 2021 with the Duke of Cambridge.
Harry moved to the US with Meghan for a new life of personal and financial freedom.
The couple’s controversial Oprah Winfrey television interview left the monarchy facing a crisis in March 2021 amid the lingering fallout from Megxit.
Harry and Meghan accused an unnamed royal of racism against their son Archie before he was born and the institution of failing to help Meghan when she was suicidal.
Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty Magazine, described the couple’s Windsor visit as “a very welcome if long overdue move”.
Earlier this week, Dai Davies, a former head of royal protection at Scotland Yard, told the PA news agency that the idea Harry is unable to come to the UK due to safety concerns is “sheer unadulterated nonsense”, adding the duke is “not an expert in security”.
Speaking about the likely security arrangements in The Hague, Mr Davies said: “The truth is I have no doubt that he will be protected, whether he takes his own team or whether the Dutch authorities give him some kind of VIP status.
“The truth is, if there’s a risk both countries – ours and the Netherlands – have sophisticated systems of determining risk.
“This country has determined he is no longer at risk. That may or may not be true, but people far better qualified than I am now can make that decision and they never make it lightly.”
He said the Ministry of Defence is involved in looking after royals in the Netherlands, and while there is a royal protection squad he said it is not as big or as experienced as the UK’s squad.
The Invictus Games was where Harry and Meghan chose to make their first public appearance together almost five years ago.
Meghan made her first appearance at an official engagement attended by Harry on September 24 2017 when she attended the Invictus Games opening ceremony in Toronto, Canada, although the pair sat about 18 seats apart.
The following day, the pair emerged hand in hand to make their first official public appearance together at the wheelchair tennis.
Harry founded the games to aid the rehabilitation of injured or sick military personnel and veterans from across the globe, by giving them the challenge of competing in sporting events similar to the Paralympics.
A film crew is expected to be joining the couple at the Invictus Games as part of filming for a Netflix series called Heart Of Invictus.