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Harry and Meghan set to address crowd at Invictus Games opening ceremony

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attending a reception, hosted by the City of The Hague and the Dutch Ministry of Defence, celebrating the forthcoming Invictus Games, at Nations Home, Invictus Games Park (Zuiderpark), in The Hague. Picture date: Friday April 15, 2022.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attending a reception, hosted by the City of The Hague and the Dutch Ministry of Defence, celebrating the forthcoming Invictus Games, at Nations Home, Invictus Games Park (Zuiderpark), in The Hague. Picture date: Friday April 15, 2022.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will both speak on stage at the Invictus Games opening ceremony later.

Harry and Meghan are set to address the audience at the televised event in The Hague, the Netherlands, which will be attended by members of the Dutch royal family and the country’s prime minister.

The couple made their first public appearance together in Europe since quitting as senior working royals more than two years ago when they attended a reception at the games on Friday.

Invictus Games Reception – The Hague
The Duchess of Sussex (Aaron Chown/PA)

Their appearance at The Hague’s Zuiderpark came after they visited the Queen and met with the Prince of Wales in Windsor on Thursday, having flown in from their home in the US.

Ahead of the opening ceremony on Saturday night, Harry and Meghan will watch the Land Rover Driving Challenge.

Jaguar Land Rover provides financial backing for the games.

The opening ceremony will feature live performances by the Kaiser Chiefs, the Johan Willem Friso royal military band, singer-songwriter Anneke van Giersbergen, and rock band DI-RECT.

Princess Margriet, Prince Pieter-Christiaan and Prime Minister Mark Rutte are among those expected to attend, with Mr Rutte scheduled to give a speech on the importance of the Invictus Games.

A crew has joined Harry and Meghan at the games as part of filming for a Netflix documentary called Heart Of Invictus – a series from Archewell Productions following people who are competing at the event.

Invictus Games Reception – The Hague
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (Aaron Chown/PA)

The Invictus Games Ukraine team manager – who is set to appear in the documentary – said she has discussed the importance of “having a voice” with Meghan.

Oksana Horbach, 39, is in the Ukraine Armed Forces working in supply chain in Kyiv, supplying meals to servicemen and women.

She told the PA news agency: “I spoke with Meghan about the importance of having a voice and she totally understood that – be heard, be vocal, have a voice, just tell your own truth, your experience. It’s very important to her.

“And she told me that it is something that they support profoundly, with full heart, to have this platform, Invictus Games platform, for the nations, especially for Ukraine, to be able to have that voice.”

Ms Horbach said the Netflix team was filming for the Invictus documentary on Friday, adding that at this stage she does not know how prominent she will be in the series.

Invictus Games Reception – The Hague
The Duchess of Sussex (Aaron Chown/PA)

“The goal is to make a nice film. What we want to do is to do a nice movie, such as that people around the world know more about Invictus values, and about Ukraine as a nation participating in Invictus Games and what we are going through to actually make it happen for us,” she said.

Harry founded the Invictus 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.

Harry and Meghan’s trips to the UK and the Netherlands come 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.

The opening ceremony will be shown on the BBC.

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