Royal engagements are not all formal dinners and handshakes, as Prince Harry found out to his delight when he took a ride with a five-year-old girl in a mini Land Rover.
The royal, 33, smiled and cheered as Daimy Gommers ferried him around in the vintage model during the Land Rover Challenge – doing his best to appear amazed by her speed as she weaved around the children’s track.
Prince Harry is in Toronto for the opening of the Invictus Games, an event for disabled servicemen that he founded several years ago.
The royal, 33, smiled and cheered as Daimy Gommers ferried him around in the vintage model during the Land Rover Challenge – doing his best to appear amazed by her speed as she weaved around the children’s track
Prince Harry shakes Daimy Gommers’s hand after she took him for a spin in a miniature Land Rover
After his meeting with the First Lady, Prince Harry headed off to the Jaguar Land Rover Driving Challenge in the Distillery District (Pictured, Daimy Gommers takes Prince Harry for a spin in a miniature Land Rover)
Prince Harry is in Toronto for the opening of the Invictus Games, an event for disabled servicemen that he founded several years ago
Daimy is the daughter of Paul Gompers, who is taking part in the archery for the Netherlands’ Invictus Team.
Before taking her out for a spin, Prince Harry was driven around the real racing track by Dennis Siesing, from the German team.
Earlier in the day, Prince Harry criticised ‘pill popping’ culture to treat mental health during his overseas visit in Canada, ahead of the Invictus Games.
During a visit to a mental health clinic, the prince told doctors: ‘It seems we suffer from a culture where a pill will fix everything,’ adding that ‘there has to be a better way than just giving out anti-depressants.’
Later on Saturday the Prince had his first meeting with US First Lady Melania Trump in Toronto ahead of the Invictus Games’ opening ceremony.
Despite its brevity, the meeting appeared cordial with the pair warmly shaking hands before settling down to talk in a room at the Sheraton Hotel.
The 33-year-old prince dressed in a dark blue suit while the 47-year-old First Lady wore a tailored black-and-white dog tooth Dior suit and black heels.
Prince Harry goes or a spin in a Jaguar F-Ttype at the Jaguar Land Rover driver challenge, at the Distillery District, Toronto
Prince Harry had his first meeting with US First Lady Melania Trump in Toronto ahead of the Invictus Games’ opening ceremony on Saturday (Pictured, smiling for photographers)
Despite its brevity, the meeting appeared cordial with the pair warmly shaking hands (pictured) before settling down to talk in a room at the Sheraton Hotel
The 33-year-old prince dressed in a dark blue suit while the 47-year-old First Lady wore a tailored black-and-white dog tooth Dior suit and black heels
Harry initially appeared awkward when he was introduced to the Slovenian former model, smiling brightly for the cameras before letting it drop as he turned away.
The pair then engaged in small talk with Mrs Trump thanking the prince for coming before he asked her if she had been in Canada long.
Harry and the US First Lady then settled down to discuss the Invictus Games’ success.
Mrs Trump is leading the US delegation at the international sporting event in her first solo foreign trip and the first known meeting of a member of the royal family with a member of the Trump family since the election.
It’s not the Trumps’ first encounter with royalty, however. In November 2005, the President and First Lady – then just a newlywed couple – met Harry’s father, Prince Charles, during a reception at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
Mrs Trump is leading the US delegation at the international sporting event in her first solo foreign trip and the first known meeting of a member of the royal family with a member of the Trump family (Pictured, Prince Harry and Melania Trump meet on Saturday)
Leading: Melania (pictured, arriving in Toronto) touched down at Toronto Pearson International Airport on Saturday morning
Dressed to impress: Dressed in a Dior suit and trademark sunglasses, the 47-year-old appeared poised as she made her way to Toronto’s Sheraton Hotel for what Kensington Palace described as ‘a bilateral meeting’ with Prince Harry
This is not the Trumps’ first encounter with royalty. In November 2005, the President and First Lady – then just a newlywed couple – met Harry’s father, Prince Charles, during a reception at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City (pictured)
For Prince Harry, it’s not his only encounter with a First Lady. He famously got along well with former First Lady Michelle Obama when she and former President Barack Obama visited London in June 2015 (pictured)
Both will meet Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau later before going on to the Opening Ceremony.
Her decision to lead the American delegation, whose members include Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, professional golfer Nancy Lopez and entertainer Wayne Newton, reflects the first lady’s ‘utmost respect’ for the hard work, courage and sacrifice of the US military, said Stephanie Grisham, a spokeswoman for Melania.
MIKE MYERS FIGHTS BACK TEARS AT INVICTUS GAMES
Actor Mike Myers fought back tears at a press conference promoting Prince Harry’s Invictus Games in his native Toronto, Canada.
Funnyman Mike, the official Ambassador of the games, which start on Saturday, became emotional as he told how his British parents helped fight the Nazis in World War Two.
The Austin Powers star apologized saying, ‘I’m Sorry’ as he began to cry telling how the wounded warriors taking part in the games, injured service men and women from around the world, deserve our respect.
He also revealed how his mother, who cared for his father when he had dementia, died in March this year.
Prince Harry was not at Saturday morning’s press conference.
‘She feels strongly that they – and their families – should be honored every day,’ Grisham said.
Grisham said Mrs. Trump, who became a US citizen in 2006, also has ‘great admiration for the role the games have played in empowering those who have been injured while serving.’
Following his meeting with the First Lady, the Prince attended Jaguar Land Rover Driving Challenge, where competitors race either Jaguars in a speed and precision course or Land Rovers in an obstacle course.
Harry was all smiles as he was sent on a spin in a miniature Land Rovers with little Daimy Gommers.
The event comes ahead of the opening ceremony of Invictus Games, games for wounded service personnel, where he is expected to make his first public appearance with actress girlfriend Meghan Markle, 36.
Earlier that morning, the Prince who was greeted by crowds of adoring fans – and a even a couple of dogs – as he left following a meeting at The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health on Saturday.
The royal had just come from meeting with healthcare workers at Canada’s largest mental health and addiction hospital to discuss their work in research and technology with a focus on young people.
Among the topics discussed at the round table discussion was potential preventative cure to stop soldiers suffering from PTSD, closely tying the work to upcoming Games.
After being told one of the center’s main approaches is prevention, the prince told doctors: ‘It seems we suffer from a culture where a pill will fix everything. ‘here has to be a better way than just giving out anti-depressants.
‘There were 65million given out in one year in the UK alone. That’s why I look to you guys in this room. Everyone is uniquely wired is what I keep saying. There is no one silver bullet, no one cure for everyone.’
During a round-table discussion about mental health research, Dr Fang Liu told Prince Harry that her team has discovered a protein complex which could lead to a potential anecdote to prevent soldiers from suffering from PTSD.
It is now being tested on ‘animal models’ and could one day be given to soldiers as a pill.
The prince asked several questions about the treatment, before declaring: ‘Wow, that’s amazing.’
The young royal was also raised for his work in raising the issue of mental health and helping to reduce the stigma.
He modestly said: ‘It’s a massive team effort and everyone is doing their bit just trying to normalize it so people can seek help without judgement.’If everyone can do that, it’s better for everyone.’
Prince Harry’s mother Princess Diana also visited the center in 1991.
Gloria Chaim, head of community engagement and partnership at, met the princess 26 years ago as well as Prince Harry yesterday.
She told him: ‘They loved her. She made them feel like important, valued people.’
Adoring fans: Earlier, Prince Harry was greeted by crowds of adoring fans – and a even a couple of dogs – as he left following a meeting at The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health on Saturday
Furry friends: The 33-year-old prince dressed in a dark blue blazer, a light blue shirt and khaki-colored pants was seen smiling as he shook hands, bent down to greet children and even pet a dog.
All smiles: Prince Harry is in Toronto ahead of the opening ceremony of Invictus Games, games for wounded service personnel, where he is expected to make his first public appearance with actress girlfriend Meghan Markle, 36.
At work: The royal had just come from meeting with healthcare workers at Canada’s largest mental health and addiction hospital to discuss their work in research and technology with a focus on young people (pictured)
Prince Harry kicked off a busy day meeting youngsters being treated at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, Canada’s largest mental health and addiction hospital as well as workers (pictured)
Harry the hugger: The prince is counting down to the opening of the Invictus Games – and went to a training session where he hugged one of the wheelchair athletes taking part
Hug for a hero: Australian athlete Kris Lane, 23, from Brisbane, Australia, was embraced by the prince who was watching a training session at the Pan Am Centre in Toronto on the day before the opening of his Invictus Games.
The handsome man smiled as he posed with a stuffed toy kangaroo for a fan’s photo during the event, sporting a black shirt with the Invictus Games logo
Harry had changed into a more casual look when he met with competitors at the Toronto Pan Am Centre, different from the blue sports jacket, a white shirt and black jeans he wore when he arrived on Friday morning
The 33-year-old shook hands, hugged and joked with the Games’ competitors on the eve before the event started
Yesterday, the prince visited the Pan Am Centre to watch the swimmers being put through their paces, stopping to give a hug to runner Kristin Lane, 23, from Brisbane, Australia.
Lane, who had been dozing when the Prince arrived, told DailyMail.com: ‘He woke me up and then we just embraced. I’ve met him a couple of times before so he must have recognized me.
‘He just said how are you? and we chatted about a few things.’
The athlete told DailyMail.com that he spent four years in the Army before being injured. He received a medical discharge two months ago but said the Games is helping him to adjust.
Lane said: ‘Being here is awesome – the whole journey has been really good and it’s great being here with all the guys.’ The 23-year-old will compete this week in the 100, 200 and 400m events.
Harry also joked with a group of Australian swimmers, laughingly pretending to drop kick a kangaroo mascot into the pool.
Swimmer Chris Clark, 45, told DailyMail.com that he almost believed Harry was serious saying: ‘He’s a lovely young man. I half thought he was serious for a moment – he can get away with things I can’t.’
Coach Amy Beal, 33, of Perth, Australia, added: ‘He was joking about our boxing kangaroo – his name is Skip but Chris’ son calls him Roger.
‘Rodger is going everywhere with Chris during this trip.
She continued: ‘Rodger has a spine so Harry was asking, what have you got in there? What are you trying to smuggle through customs?’
Harry spent some time with athletes representing Australia at the international competition, much to their apparent delight
The rest of the weekend will see the Prince hold bilateral meetings with US First Lady Melania Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and outgoing Canadian Governor General David Johnston
Impressive venue: The Pan Am Sports Centre in Toronto will play host to the games for real in coming days, with Prince Harry present for all of them
Chat: Prince Harry went around the training session at one of the Invictus venues where he spent time with some of the 550 athletes taking part
Harry later turned his attention poolside as he chatted with female swimmers during the athletes’ training session
All eyes: The British swim team member, one of the hundreds of athletes taking part in the games in Toronto, was closely inspected by the prince and other team officials and members
Ear me now: Prince Harry had plenty to say as he spent time at the training session in the Pan Am Session in Toronto
Banter: Australian swim team athletes were all ears as the prince toured the complex
Ready for action: Prince Harry will officially open the Invictus Games on Saturday and met athletes who are in the final stages of training
Royal chat: The prince spent time at the practice session with athletes from teams including Australia. Competition starts after the opening ceremony
Lots to watch: The prince kept an eye on the wheelchair basketball as members of the Danish team took to the court to compete against the team from the Netherlands in a practice session
UNCONQUERED: HARRY’S GAMES OF COURAGE
The Invictus Games, now in its third edition, was started in 2014 by Prince Harry and was inspired by the USA’s Warrior Games.
Competitors are drawn from 17 countries, including the U.K., USA, Canada and Australia and 550 veterans will take part in this year’s event.
All are former or serving members of the military, many of whom suffered life-changing injuries during combat.
The event will last a week, beginning with a celebrity-studded Opening Ceremony on Saturday night. Guests will include Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US First Lady Melania Trump.
Last year’s event was held in Orlando, Florida, and along with Prince Harry, then Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill attended.
The first edition, held in London, saw senior members of the Royal family descend on the Games, among them the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Next year’s event will be held in Sydney, Australia.
The name of the Games is drawn from a Victorian poem by William Earnest Henley, written in 1875.
Titled Invictus, the final two lines have become the Games’ motto and read: ‘I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.’
Prior to the inaugural Games in London 2014, the poem was read in a promotional video by actors Daniel Craig and Tom Hardy.
Although neither are expected at this year’s event, high profile guests lending their support include comedian Mike Myers, rocker Bruce Springsteen and musician turned photographer Bryan Adams.
The engagement, Harry’s second of the day, was at the Pan Am Centre – the venue for the swimming and rowing competitions.
As well as Team Australia, athletes inside the venue came from all 17 competing nations, among them Team USA and Team GB.
Beal said she and other members had previously met Harry during the Sydney Invictus Games launch in June and said he had remembered him.
‘We met him in Sydney for the launch in June so he recognized us,’ she said.
‘He was talking about jet lag because he knew we had come all the way from Australia, plus our prep and whether we are ready.
‘He’s like a friend – just joking around and having fun.’
She added: ‘We’re quietly confident that we’ll be competitive – I’m here to ensure these guys achieve what they want to.’
Harry’s first engagement of the day was at Scotia Plaza to attend the True Patriot Love Symposium; an annual meeting that brings together representatives from non-profit foundations, business and government to discuss how best to help military veterans and their families.
The agenda at this year’s event, which was being livestreamed online throughout the day, is focused on soldiers’ wellbeing during both peacetime and during war.
Harry spent part of the morning at the event, meeting Invictus competitors and their families who are taking part in a panel discussion.
He congratulated a pregnant athlete who’s taking part in his Paralympic-style Invictus Games and was told she hopes to being their baby to the contest next year.
Harry, 33, met Randi Gavell who’s set to compete in several sports in the coming week in Toronto.
The former staff sergeant, who was medically retired from the US army in 2010 after suffering a traumatic brain injury following a truck bomb blast in Iraq in 2006, is expecting a girl, she told Harry at a meeting with families at a special pre-games conference.
‘The first question I asked my doctor was if I could still go to Canada,’ she told Harry when he congratulated her.
‘I’ll take it easy, I will be careful. It’s a girl and we’re pretty excited. She will probably have more medals before she’s born!’
Gavell, who is four and a half months pregnant, is in Toronto with her husband Richard Hobson, a serving staff sergeant in the U.S Army and he told Harry that ‘maybe next year you’ll meet the baby.’
Gavell, who is set to take part in rowing, swimming, sitting volleyball and track events, then handed him a gift of a Team USA coin, and told the prince: ‘It’s so amazing for us to have this opportunity. We couldn’t have done his without you.’
Meet the crowds: A tiny fraction of the total crowd was just visible behind a beaming Prince Harry as he left the first engagement of his week-long stay in Toronto
Man of the moment: A huge crowd was outside the Scotia Plaza in Toronto as Prince Harry left the first official engagement of his stay in the Canadian city, which is hosting his Invictus Games
Face to face with a hero: Prince Harry knelt to talk to Trevor Greene, who was a captain in the Canadian Armed Forces’ Seaforth Highlanders when he suffered a massive brain injury in combat in Kandahar, Afghanistan in 2006. He and his wife, Debbie, were among those taking part in the prince’s first engagement ahead of the Invictus Games opening ceremony.
Photo time: Prince Harry posed for pictures with Australian veteran and athlete Mark Reidy, his wife Karen May, and their children at the True Love Patriot Symposium in Toronto
Harry gets them laughing: Mark Reidy, an Australian veteran who is competing in the games, and his wife Karen May, were laughing as they talked to Harry and another participant in the forum
Harry mania hits Canada: This was just some of the crowd waiting for a chance to see Prince Harry as he left a symposium in the Scotia Plaza in Toronto ahead of the opening of the Invictus Games
I want a selfie! This was part of the crowd in the Scotia Plaza as Harry left the pre-Invictus Games symposium
Hello girls! A beaming Prince Harry made the day of two of the forum’s participants as he greeted them at the event in Scotia Plaza, Toronto
Harry mania! One woman was delighted to get a sighting of the Prince in Scotia Plaza, Toronto, Friday
Happy to be here: Smiling and relaxed Prince Harry arrived for the first engagement he is holding in Toronto ahead of his Invictus Games. His girlfriend Meghan Markle is expected to attend
Call me: A light-hearted Prince Harry was all smiles as he attended the symposium in Scotia Plaza, Toronto, as a final preparation for his Invictus Games
In love: Meghan Markle broke her silence on the relationship with Prince Harry telling Vanity Fair: ‘We are two people who are really happy and in love.’
Meghan Markle, 36, is widely expected to make her first official appearance with the Prince at some stage during the games