The Duchess of Sussex took the stage at the Family and Friends party on 12 September for the annual, multi-sporting event for wounded, injured, and sick veterans. After expressing her gratitude for The Fisher House organisation, which helped put the party together, she acknowledged how she’s looking forward to the day where she can bring her four-year-old son, Archie, and one-year-old daughter, Lilibet, to the Invictus Games.
“There are so many people we know back home who are rooting for all of you, even if they can’t be here you, they are here in spirit.” she said in the speech, as reported by Hello! “Thank you, thank you also for this amazing band and we’re looking forward to such a fantastic week. Have the best time, we’re cheering for you, and we can’t wait to bring our kids also so they can experience just how awesome this is. Thank you guys so so much.”
In a separate shoutout to her children, she also joked that they’d made her late to the annual games.
“It is so special to be here, and I’m so sorry that I was a little late for the party. Just like so many of you, we know this is about family and friends and the community that Invictus has created, that Fischer House has created, and so I had to just spend a little bit more time getting our little ones settled home,” she explained.
She continued: “Getting milk shakes, doing school drop off and then I just landed a couple of hours ago. I am thrilled that the first event that I can do with Invictus is here with all of you. It is amazing, and I hear the week so far has been off to a good start — is that right?”
Earlier in her speech, Meghan applauded some of the international work done by The Fisher House foundation, which “builds comfort homes where military & veteran families can stay free of charge, while a loved one is in the hospital,” as noted by the organisation’s official website.
“I was fortunate to go and visit one of their houses in Los Angeles just a couple of weeks ago and I was so moved by everything that they do. As they understand, as you do, as my husband does in creating the Invictus Games, how much the value of rehabilitation matters not just as a solitary experience, but as a family,” she said. “So I’m really proud to be part of this Invictus family with all of you. I’m grateful for all of you that are here.”
On 12 September, the Invictus Games Foundation also took to X – formerly known as Twitter – to share more snaps of the duke and duchess at the party. One of those photos included a shot of the couple walking through a hallway, as Meghan held hands with Ukrainian veteran Yuliia Paievska, who appeared in Netflix’s new Heart of Invictus, a limited series about athletes at the 2022 Invictus Games.
“It was wonderful for The Duke and Duchess of Sussex to join us for the Family & Friends party to celebrate the importance of those closest to us and the role they play in the recovery of our community members,” the organisation wrote on X.
The Invictus Games were first created back in 2014, after Prince Harry took a trip to the US to watch the Warrior Games. There, he witnessed how sports could help wounded veterans in their recovery, whether it be physically, socially, or mentally.
Prior to the games, Harry returned to the UK on 7 September without Meghan, ahead of the first anniversary of the late Queen Elizabeth II’s death. According to reports, he did not meet other members of the royal family. An insider recently told the Daily Mail that his father, King Charles III, had “no time in his diary” to meet Harry.
One day before making her debut at this year’s game, Meghan was also spotted at the In-N-Out drive-thru in California, according to People. The visit came one year after she spoke to Variety about her and her husband’s transition to the States – since stepping down as senior members of the royal family – and said that In-N-Out had become one of Harry’s “favourite” spots. “It’s funny. People sometimes think we live in Los Angeles, but we’re a good two hours outside of it,” Meghan explained.