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Reception at the town hall
Harry and Meghan visiting Düsseldorf
09/07/2022, 12:20 PM
He is not the heir to the throne. Yet the Dusseldorf Prince Harry is preparing an almost royal reception. The 37-year-old and his wife Meghan came to the Rhine because the Invictus Games will take place here in 2023. FDP defense expert Strack-Zimmermann also cheers.
Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife Meghan have arrived in Düsseldorf for a visit. At the town hall they were cheered by several hundred fans and spectators in sunny weather.
Political celebrities and members of the Bundeswehr also came to greet the couple, who came to promote the Invictus Games, which will take place in Düsseldorf in a year. The Paralympic games of war veterans are a matter of the heart for Harry. They will be held in a German city for the first time in 2023.
The Prince and Duchess walked a red carpet to the historic blue door of City Hall. Then they attended a reception at the town hall and signed the golden city book. In a short speech, Harry thanked the city of Düsseldorf and the Bundeswehr for their willingness and commitment to host the Invictus Games 2023.
Bad in the crowd
From his experience, he can assure you that the encounters with the participants of the sports festival are extremely intense, explains Harry. “We can learn so much from them and grow from them too.” However, one can often identify with their stories. He invites all German citizens to participate in the competitions in the coming year.
Afterwards, Harry and Meghan took time for the waiting fans. They spoke to people, shook hands and signed autographs. Apparently a small dog wasn’t too happy about the visit: he barked at the two. Harry asked if he’d be kind—and then went on.
During their visit, the Duke and Duchess seemed not only close to the people, but also very casual: Meghan presented herself in a casual summer outfit. The 41-year-old wore a white ribbed off-the-shoulder top and beige wide-leg pants. Harry appeared in a classic gray suit, without a tie.
“I’m Not Excited”
Among the politicians who personally welcomed the prince and his wife was not only the mayor of Düsseldorf, Stephan Keller. The President of the Defense Committee in the Bundestag, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, was also present at the reception in the town hall. “I’m not excited, I’m happy because the Defense Committee of the German Bundestag, under our leadership, has managed to bring the Invictus Games to Germany,” the FDP politician said of Harry and Meghan’s visit.
Strack-Zimmermann said she was delighted that her hometown of Düsseldorf would host the matches next year. “The fact that Prince Harry is the patron saint is super important to the soldiers. Of course it’s gratifying that he’s coming now,” she added.
Shipping on the Rhine
After the official reception, Harry and Meghan took a one-hour boat trip on the Rhine. The focus was on discussions with participants of the Invictus Games and volunteer helpers of the games.
On board the “RheinGalaxie” were German participants in this year’s Invictus Games in The Hague as well as Bundeswehr soldiers eligible to participate in Düsseldorf in 2023. They are people who have been injured on the job, often involving of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Word quickly spread on the waterfront that Harry and Meghan would pass by on the Rhine. However, because of the heat, the conversations took place in the air-conditioned interior of the 85-meter ship, which was accompanied by a police boat.
Harry and Meghan had broken free from the tight-knit circle of the royal family in 2020 and moved to the other side of the Atlantic. Since then, the couple has lived with their two children Archie (3) and Lilibet (1) in Montecito, California, near Santa Barbara. The relationship with the rest of the Royals is considered partially strained. Visits of the two in Britain or the rest of Europe have been rare since then.