Prince Harry has been an incredibly enthusiastic spectator throughout the entirety of the Invictus Games – but on Thursday night the royal seemed to get a bit distracted from the sporting action by something, or someone, on his phone.
The 33-year-old was seen snapping pictures and typing away on his iPhone during the finals of the wheelchair rugby competition at the Mattamy Athletic Centre while watching a game between the United States and Denmark – the eventual gold medal winners.
It is possible that Harry was sending a few candid snapshots and messages to his girlfriend Meghan Markle, 36, who has not made an appearance at the games since she and the prince stepped out for their debut as a couple on Monday, when they arrived hand-in-hand at the tennis tournament.
Papped! Prince Harry was pictured snapping several photos of his own at the Invictus Games’ wheelchair rugby finals in Toronto on Thursday night
The perfect shot: The 33-year-old royal may well have been sending a few candid snaps to his girlfriend Meghan Markle, who did not join him at the sporting event as some expected
Texting? Harry was then seen looking down at his phone and typing on the screen, perhaps sending a message to his girlfriend along with the photo
Taking a sneak peek: At one point Harry removed the cover from his phone while snapping another picture – as the man next to him peered over to get a closer look
Something important? Harry was seen typing on his device just hours after making a speech in which he urged young people to ‘look up from your phones’
Absent: Suits star Meghan has not attended an event with Harry since the couple made their public debut on Monday at the tennis tournament
Harry certainly seemed a bit distracted at times during the wheelchair rugby games, looking down to type away on his iPhone, which was covered by a protective clear case, after holding the smartphone up to snap a few images of the scenes going on in front of him.
Ironically, Harry’s focus on his iPhone came just hours after he made a surprise appearance at the WE Day celebrations, where he made a rousing speech about how important it is for young people to ‘look up from their phones’ and stop focusing solely on social media.
The royal was the surprise guest at Toronto’s WE Day event, part of a global day of celebration to bring young people together and make change through social good.
More than 5,000 schoolchildren were in the city’s Air Canada Centre and gave Harry a tumultuous – almost evangelical – welcome when he appeared on stage.
The prince said there was too much cynicism and apathy in the world and called for young people put aside their fears and make their voice heard.
Casually dressed in a blue shirt and grey chinos, the prince admitted that he was somewhat older than many in the audience, but insisted that he understood the pressures they faced and called on them to be cautious about their use of social media.
He urged: ‘You know that differences of opinion, of circumstance, of race and religion – are to be respected and celebrated.
Fun and games: Harry was also seen grabbing the shoulders of one of his fellow spectators
Prankster: Making quite the cheeky face, Harry leaned forward to grab the man – who appeared to find the whole thing very funny
Tired? It has been a long week for Harry, who has attended numerous sporting events, and evening receptions
Round of applause: He has never ceased in his enthusiasm, however, and has been one of the most dedicated – and excitable – spectators throughout the event
What a game! The United Kingdom beat Australia and went on to face Denmark in the finals
Intense: After a tough battle between the two teams, Denmark eventually came out on top
Upset: One of the players from the United Kingdom’s team appeared to get a bit overwhelmed with emotion after they lost out in the finals
‘You know that in a clickbait culture, we cannot waste time sharing and drawing attention to things that make us angry, or that we know to be false.
‘You all know that it’s great to “like” things on social media, but that it’s more important to look up from our phones, to get out into our communities, and to take real action; to stand up for what you believe in.’
While it is not known exactly what Harry was doing – or who he may have been messaging – it is understood that he has been keeping his girlfriend up to date with all of the goings, after he revealed earlier this week that she has been ‘loving’ the games thus far.
The Prince revealed her passion for the Paralympic-style event for injured servicemen he set up three years ago when he met cycling competitors on Wednesday afternoon.
‘I asked him how his girlfriend was enjoying it and he said ‘she loves it, she’s loving the games,’ which is awesome’ said former US air force master sergeant Kyle Burnett, 37.
Harry and Meghan’s relationship has been the source of much public interest during the week that he has been in Toronto for the sporting event; coincidentally the city is also the location of filming for Meghan’s popular TV show Suits, and the prince is even said to have paid a visit to the set after arriving in Canada before the start of the games.
But despite expressing her enthusiasm for the games through her boyfriend, Meghan has not made an appearance at any of the events since the couple made their much-anticipated debut on Monday at the tennis tournament.
A congratulatory kiss! The prince bent down to kiss one of the members of Denmark’s wheelchair rugby team on his head after presenting him with his gold medal
Pucker up: Harry didn’t appear shy at all about the heartwarming action, which prompted a huge smile on the face of the man receiving the kiss
Emotional: It looks as though the prince got a bit choked up while speaking with the man
Happy as can be: It was all smiles moments later, however, when he shook the hand of another one of the team’s players
Hugs for everyone! Harry made sure to spend time speaking with each of the players as he made his way along the line presenting them with their medals
Team spirit: Team USA – the bronze medal winners – happily watched on as Harry presented Denmark with their golds
There, the duo finally confirmed their relationship to the world, holding hands as they made their way into the event, and then laughing and chatting happily while sitting in the stands.
Meghan has also moved into Harry’s room at the five-star Fairmont Royal York so that the two can spend plenty of time together while they are in the same country.
Her close connection to the prince has not been without its worries, however, and on Thursday, DailyMailTV exclusively revealed that Meghan has been given her own security detail by the makers of her legal drama Suits, after concerns were raised over her safety.
NBC Universal, the company behind the TV hit, is footing the bill for the round-the-clock protection, because Meghan is not currently entitled to official royal protection – a service only granted to members of the royal family.
Although there is not understood to be a specific threat, the combination of her growing public profile and an awareness that Harry has claimed there have been social media attacks on Markle for her biracial heritage appear to have prompted to move.
However any concern or stress caused by the heightened security doesn’t seem to have dampened Harry’s spirits; other than his occasional distracted moments, the prince looked to be having a whale of a time at the wheelchair rugby finals, where he later awarded the winners – Team Denmark – with their gold medals.
Personal meeting: The prince surprised Sgt James Norman Baker at the start of the tournament, after the World War II veteran made a speech about the royal
Speaking out: Sgt Baker, 101, thanked Harry for his work with military personnel as he made a speech which was shown on the big screen at the event
Happy as can be: The royal spoke with Sgt Baker, who is from Toronto, about his own personal story, learning more about where he served
Helping hand: The wheelchair-bound veteran recalled his own experience of recovering after returning from the war, noting that many of his peers felt they ‘didn’t have anything to live for’
Low-key: Ever humble, Harry simply said of the veteran’s high praise, ‘He thanked me’
At the start of the tournament, Prince Harry surprised a 101-year-old World War Two veteran with a personal visit after he publicly thanked the royal for all he had done for service personnel.
Sgt James Norman Baker appeared live on a television screen during a wheelchair rugby match at the Invictus Games tonight to pay tribute to Harry for setting up the competition.
The prince, who himself served for a decade in the army including two tours of Afghanistan, was so moved that he ran up the stairs of the arena to find Sgt Baker, who was in a wheelchair, and greet him.
Sinking to his knees, he held the old man’s hand and listened to him as he repeated his gratitude.
Sgt Baker said afterwards: ‘I wanted to show the athletes my support and enjoy the games. See their spirit.
‘They show amazing strength of character as well as body. I think they do a wonderful job.
‘It’s important because without this, a lot of them would not be where they are today.
‘It’s Prince Harry’s efforts that have encouraged them to find the competitive spirit, self-confidence and join in: make them feel as if they have a place in the world when they could have lost hope.’
Saying his own generation had ‘just had to do the best we could’ to recover from war on their own, he added: ‘Some of them didn’t have anything to live for.
Fun and games! Harry appeared to be having a whale of a time as he watching the wheelchair rugby team from the United Kingdom take on Australia in a semi-final game
What a laugh! He was seen joking around with his fellow spectators as the match went on
Hi there! Harry looked very excited as the contingent from the UK arrived at the stadium
What’s up? Prince Harry made several rather funny faces as he had a conversation with one of the support staff from the United Kingdom’s team
Old friends: Harry greeted the staff members warmly as they arrived in the stadium ahead of the match again Australia
What a game! As the match kicked off, Harry became more focused on the action before him
He’s got the knowledge: At one point, the prince appeared to be explaining the rules of the games to one of his fellow spectators
Right, then left: He was seen indicating to different ends of the stadium
‘Harry’s given them [this generation] that spirit.’
Asked about his conversation with the Prince, he said modestly: ‘He thanked me.’
As he told Harry his own story, the Prince exclaimed: ‘Wow, that’s amazing. Fantastic.’ He then checked that Sgt Baker had a VIP seat for the rest of the wheelchair rugby game.
Harry founded the Invictus Games, a Paralympic-style event for injured servicemen and women, which is being held in Toronto this year year, in 2014.
The idea behind it is to help facilitate their recovery both physically and mentally, but the. Games have also become renowned for their top class competition.
Sgt Baker, from Toronto, served with the Royal Regiment of Canada for four years. He was originally a company clerk for the regiment and not expected to fight, but saw action shortly after D-Day.
Mr Baker landed at Juno Beach six weeks after D-Day and was then part of the Allied Forces who moved through France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. In 2012, he met with the Prince of Wales when Charles presented new colours to the Royal Regiment at Varsity City, Toronto.