Prince Harry was in high spirits as he watched the spectacular opening ceremony of the 6th Invictus Games in Germany.
The Duke of of Sussex sat next to German defence minister Boris Pistorius and they appeared to be in animated conversation as they viewed the flamboyant Parade of Nations in Dusseldorf.
Over 500 people stood in the blazing sunshine as they stood behind barriers hoping the Prince would go on a walkabout and greet them. They shouted his name as he walked in a lightweight blue suit, white shirt and silver tie.
Representatives from the 21 nations competing in the Invictus Games waited inside the town hall for his arrival.
A small group of demonstrators shouted out anti military slogans but as soon as Harry’s car pulled into the market square in front of the town hall they were drowned out by cheers from his fans.
Prince Harry (right) and German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius laugh during the opening ceremony of the 2023 Invictus Games
The German defence minister appeared to be deep in discussion with the Duke of Sussex as they watched the opening ceremony
Prince Harry was all smiles as he arrived for the opening ceremony of his Invictus Games in Germany
Harry pictured walking into the reception with Stephen Keller, Mayor of Dusseldorf
Prince Harry also met with British competitors at Invictus Games in Germany earlier today
20-year-old Madeleine Durant (left) drove two hours from her home in Dortmund to see Harry
A man holds sign in protest against Prince Harry who in his autobiography described killing 25 Taliban in Afghanistan
The delegation of United Kingdom arrives during the opening ceremony of the 2023 Invictus Games
Canadian fans during The Parade of Nations at the Opening Ceremony at Merkur Spiel-Arena
The flamboyant Parade of Nations is among the highlights during the Opening Ceremony
Prince Harry’s bodyguard, ex Secret Service agent Chris Sanchez kept a close eye on Harry as he walked the short distance from his car to the town hall.
Among the crowd was 20-year-old superfan Madeleine Durant who had driven two hours from her home in Dortmund to see Harry.
She held up a yellow banner saying ‘Harry, I came all the way to take a photo with you’. She said: ‘I am a big fan of Harry and hope that he sees the banner and comes over. I really do like him as he speaks the truth.’
About six people demonstrating against the German military’s involved in the games for disabled and wounded military vets held a demonstration in a corner of the market square.
Police outnumbered the half dozen demonstrators who have claimed the Games will be used by the military to enlist new recruits.
One of the demonstrators held a banner with the words ‘Bomber Harry’ – a reference to his time in Afghanistan as an Apache helicopter gunner.
The estranged royal, who founded the sporting event for wounded and injured servicemen, also posed for a picture with volunteers and competitors just a day after he attended a private memorial for his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II.
Wearing a black T-shirt and looking relaxed Harry stood the middle of the group. The visit to the Merkur Spiel-Arena in Düsseldorf was unannounced.
The Duke of Sussex, who went on the solo whirlwind trip to the UK without his wife and children, was spotted leaving St George’s Chapel in Windsor at lunchtime yesterday.
The fifth in the line to the throne was photographed paying respects to the Queen by a tourist in a shock secret visit to the church, where the late monarch was laid to rest.
He then flew last night to Dusseldorf in Germany for the opening ceremony of his Invictus Games.
Prince Harry waves as he walks into the reception at the city’s town hall
A Prince Harry fan waits eagerly ahead of the Duke’s arrival
Fans pictured as the Duke of Sussex arrives at the town hall
Grinning Prince Harry (centre) poses with volunteers at the start of the Invictus Games in Germany
Prince Harry leaves St George’s Chapel in Windsor yesterday lunchtime to mark the first anniversary of the Queen’s death. Her Majesty is buried there alongside her husband Prince Philip
The Duke is booked into a £2,000 night suite with stunning views across The Rhine and will be joined later in the luxurious residence next week by his wife Meghan.
The expansive suite on the 17th floor of the Hyatt Regency hotel in Dusseldorf will be their base for the next eight days.
The Invictus Foundation posted a photo of the team group shot on their Twitter account. The group Harry posed with carry out assessments of the athletes and their recovery.
With temperatures expected to be in the high 80s there has been concern among organisers for those taking part in outdoor events, such as the athletics and archery.
Many of the sports for disabled and wounded military veterans will take place inside the indoor arena.
Tonight he will launch the sports event for wounded and disabled military veterans and attend the week long event, dropping in to cheer of competitors in events such as archery, swimming and wheelchair rugby.
Over 500 competitors from 21 countries are taking part in the games which are sponsored by the US based Boeing firm.
Organisers predict up to 100,000 people will attend the games which will close with a speech from Prince Harry and a set of six songs from singer Rita Ora.
Teams from around the globe have all arrived in Dusseldorf and were met at the airport by the mascot of the Games, a brown bear with the name Buddy.
The UK team and friends and family flew from Birmingham on a RAF transport jet. The 59 members of the include 15 who are still serving in the military while the others are retired from service.
Prince Harry arriving at the five-star Hyatt Regency hotel in Dusseldorf yesterday before he launches the 2023 Invictus Games today
Prince Harry flew to Germany for the Invictus Games after a shock secret visit to the Windsor church where the Queen was laid to rest
The team UK Captain, Lt Commander James Rogers said: ‘ Whether a veteran or still serving, we are one team heading into the Games and I am immensely proud of how much everyone has achieved in this process. It has brought with it a sense of camaraderie and excitement, as well as noticeable physical and mental health benefits.’
Wearing a white shirt and smart trousers, Harry looked sombre yesterday as he left a side entrance of St George’s Chapel as family, Britain and the world again mourned the Queen’s passing. It is not known if he went to Her Majesty’s grave in the King George VI Memorial Chapel, which sits within the walls of the church.
Harry was seen by the public leaving the church where his grandparents are both buried at around Midday. An executive Range Rover was waiting for him with his bodyguard waiting to open the door.
A number of members of the Royal Family are understood to have visited the chapel yesterday. Harry remains close to his cousins Beatrice and Eugenie but it is not yet known if they and others paid their respects together. MailOnline has asked Buckingham Palace and a spokesman for the Duke of Sussex to comment.
The warring brothers are spending the first anniversary of their grandmother’s death in the same country – but still couldn’t be farther apart and did not meet before Harry jetted off to Germany last night.
Harry is believed to have gone straight from the church where he married Meghan Markle in 2018 to Heathrow to catch a British Airways flight to Düsseldorf, where he is pictured
Harry is driven into the Hyatt Regency hotel in Dusseldorf yesterday after his quick trip to Britain
The Duke of Sussex was at his personable best in London on Thursday as he met winners of the WellChild Awards – a charity he has been patron of for 15 years and stayed with after his acrimonious departure from the Royal Family.
Harry flew in for the engagement from his home in California, making his first appearance in the UK since June.
But despite the long flight, the duke cut a relaxed figure as he sat with the youngsters and their families during a pre-ceremony reception at The Hurlingham Club in south-west London.
It was as Harry prepared for the awards this time last year that news began filtering through that his grandmother was seriously ill before passing away hours later. The duke took a flight to Scotland but landed too late to see the Queen before she passed away.
‘As you know, I was unable to attend the awards last year as my grandmother passed away,’ he told the audience.
‘As you also probably know, she would have been the first person to insist that I still come to be with you all instead of going to her. And that’s precisely why I know, exactly one year on, she is looking down on all of us tonight, happy we’re together continuing to spotlight such an incredible community.’