Meghan Markle joined competitors and spectators in singing 'happy birthday' to Prince Harry who turns 39 on Friday
Happy birthday, Prince Harry!
The Duke of Sussex celebrated his 39th birthday on Friday during his trip to Germany for the sixth edition of his Invictus Games with his wife, Meghan Markle, by his side. To mark the special occasion, competitors and spectators at the sitting volleyball game between Poland and Germany serenaded Harry with a rendition of "Happy Birthday."
Prince Harry clearly enjoyed the affectionate welcome from the crowd, giving a thumbs up as Meghan, 42, leaned into him with a smile.
The couple — who have been watching various contests in the adaptive sports competition in recent days — were animated as they took in the sitting volleyball action in the Merkur Spiel-Arena in Düsseldorf. Prince Harry, who served in the British Army for 10 years, created the for injured, sick and wounded service personnel and veterans in 2014.
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On the morning of his birthday, the Invictus Games organizers also sent Prince Harry some online wishes — complete with a fun social media picture.
They wrote, "From all of us at the @InvictusGamesDE, a heartfelt HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the founder and patron of @WeAreInvictus, Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex. You've given hope, inspired millions and never stop putting a smile on peoples faces."
From all of us at the @InvictusGamesDE, a heartfelt HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the founder and patron of @WeAreInvictus, Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex 💛 You've given hope, inspired millions and never stop putting a smile on peoples faces pic.twitter.com/ibbTuURDEj
— Invictus Games Düsseldorf 2023 (@InvictusGamesDE) September 15, 2023
Harry's birthday celebrations began on Thursday evening as he and Meghan headed out with some of their staff to the Brauerei Schumacher restaurant. They enjoyed Weiner Schnitzel, blood sausage and German sausages, the restaurant said in an Instagram post, calling the birthday group "very likable people."
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex also posed for a photo with some people from the restaurant.
Prince Harry's birthday celebrations are much different than last year. The Duke of Sussex turned 38 just a week after the death of his grandmother Queen Elizabeth. Harry and Meghan were in the U.K. at the time, attending related funeral events leading up to the monarch's state funeral and committal service held on Sept. 19.
It marked the second time in Harry's life that his birthday fell near the funeral of a beloved family member. His mother, Princess Diana, died on August 31, 1997, and her funeral took place one week later — nine days before Harry's 13th birthday.
During a noisy and exciting week at the Invictus Games for both competitors and fans alike, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been meeting as many of those taking part in the Invictus Games as possible. U.S. Air Force veteran Chief Master Sgt. Garrett Kuwada (who is competing in wheelchair rugby, swimming and track and field) told PEOPLE how Harry playfully "grabbed my beard and shook it!"
"That was awesome," he added. "He’s a veteran, and like all vets, when we get together, we talk, laugh, joke and tease each other. He’s just like one of the guys, it was an amazing experience."
“He makes you feel like you’ve known him forever."
On Wednesday, Prince Harry was pictured embracing one member of the U.S. team after a wheelchair basketball game, while Meghan, 42, — recently dubbed "Amira Ngozi Lolo" by Team Nigeria, meaning, in part, "Royal Wife" — was seen placing a medal around the neck of a teammate. (Team USA beat France 29-15 in the final.)
The same morning, they met some competitors at the wheelchair basketball contest between Ukraine and Australia before sitting in the stands — and joined the rest of the spectators in a celebratory group wave.
The couple has also spent some time with the Nigerian team, who Harry said Meghan is supporting in his opening speech on Saturday.
"Now, I'm not saying we play favorites in our home, but since my wife discovered she's of Nigerian descent, it's likely to get a little bit more competitive this year," he joked, referencing Meghan discovering that she is 43% Nigerian thanks to a genealogy test, which she opened up about in October 2022.
The Düsseldorf event is the sixth Invictus Games, following previous events in London, Orlando, Sydney, The Hague and Toronto — where Meghan and Harry made their first public appearance as a couple in 2017.
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