Prince Harry encountered a mixed reception as he arrived for the
commencement of the Invictus Games in Dusseldorf, Germany. Anti-war protesters
voiced their disapproval, while a crowd of over 500 people, basking in the
blazing sunshine, stood behind barriers, eagerly hoping for a chance to greet
Harry, dressed in a lightweight blue suit, white shirt, and silver tie, drew
cheers from his fans as he made his way to the Town Hall. Inside,
representatives from the 21 nations participating in the Invictus Games
awaited his arrival.
While a small group of demonstrators shouted anti-military slogans, their
voices were soon drowned out by the cheers from Harry’s supporters as his car
pulled into the Market Square in front of the Town Hall. Harry’s bodyguard,
ex-secret service agent Chris Sanchez, kept a watchful eye as Harry walked the
short distance to the Town Hall.
A handful of demonstrators, about six in number, protested against the German
military’s involvement in the games for disabled and wounded military
veterans, claiming that the games would be used to recruit new soldiers. One
of the demonstrators held a banner reading “Bomber Harry,” referencing his
time in Afghanistan as an Apache helicopter gunner.
Prince Harry officially opened the 2023 Invictus Games in Dusseldorf, Germany,
with a speech on Saturday. This is not the first time Harry has faced boos at
veterans’ events. In June, he was reportedly booed during the 2023 Warrior
Games closing ceremony in San Diego, California, where he made a speech.
In addition to the boos in Germany, Prince Harry faced a different challenge
on German television. He appeared on the ZDF Sports Studio on Saturday night
and was invited to participate in a shooting challenge, a tradition for guests
on the show. Before taking his shots, he entered into a bet with co-host Sven
Voss, who jokingly suggested that if Harry failed to score, he would have to
wear a Germany jersey.
The challenge involved scoring three goals in the lower hole and three in the
upper hole of a target. Despite firing six shots, Prince Harry failed to score
a single goal, much to the amusement of the audience. Fortunately for him, the
studio was unprepared for this scenario and didn’t have a German jersey on
hand. Instead, a studio guest lent him an immense fan scarf.
Prince Harry also engaged in a discussion about his experiences as a soldier
in Afghanistan and the mission of the Invictus Games with Germany’s defense
minister Boris Pistorius and veterans Angelo Anderson and Jens Neymar, both of
whom served in the Afghan war. Boris Pistorius managed to score his first two
shots, prompting Harry to humorously suggest him as the new soccer coach for
Germany, to which Pistorius laughed it off.
Prince Harry’s recent experiences in Germany involved a mixed reception from
the public and an entertaining appearance on German television, where he faced
some friendly competition in a shooting challenge.