Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Most Talked About Invictus Games Moments

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's appearances at the 2017 and 2018 Invictus Games saw the couple's relationship transition from seriously dating to happily married. Over the course of their life together, the games have provided an important and useful platform for the couple to publicly demonstrate their relationship on their own terms—an agency which has been important to the couple since they met.

The 2020 Invictus Games had to be postponed for two years due to the coronavirus pandemic. This year, the Games are back and being held from April 16-22 in The Hague, Netherlands.

It has been confirmed that this year's Invictus Games will be attended by both Meghan and Harry, this time in a new phase of their relationship and their lives.

They couple are now both parents—it is unconfirmed whether the couple will take either of their two children to the Netherlands with them—and the visit marks the first time they will publicly visit Europe together since stepping down as full-time working members of the royal family.

As the 2022 events begin, Newsweek looks at Harry and Meghan's most talked about Invictus Games moments.

Prince Harry Meghan Markle Invictus Games 2018
From their first public displays of affection to Meghan's strong and confident solo speech, the Sussexes' Invictus Games appearances generate keen public interest. Photographed at the Sydney Invictus Games, October 20, 2018. Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage

Meghan and Harry's Debut at the Invictus Games, 2017

The opening ceremony of the 2017 Invictus Games came at an important time for Harry and Meghan. News of their relationship had been leaked in 2016 with Harry forced to release a statement asking the press to respect their privacy.

With the relationship confirmed, the couple had not yet been seen at an official public event together.

In the same month that the games took place, Meghan gave an interview to Vanity Fair under the headline "Meghan Markle, Wild About Harry!" During the interview she told journalist Sam Kashner, "We were very quietly dating for about six months before it became news, and I was working during that whole time, and the only thing that changed was people's perception."

Prince Harry Meghan Markle Invictus Opening 2017
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle both attended the opening ceremony of the Invictus Games in Toronto, September 23, 2017. George Pimentel/WireImage/ Samir Hussein/WireImage

Public interest in the couple increased even more. When the time came for the Invictus Games—an incredibly important event for Harry who helped to found it and remains its patron—it seemed natural that he should invite Meghan along with him. This was doubly appropriate as the games were held in Toronto where Meghan lived during the production of her television series Suits.

To royal watchers' disappointment, Harry and Meghan were not seated together for the games' opening ceremony as the prince hosted then-First Lady Melania Trump.

Invictus Public Display of Affection, 2017

Following the opening ceremony, Harry and Meghan displayed their strengthening relationship with a very public display of affection.

Attending a wheelchair tennis event on day three of the games, Harry and Meghan appeared hand in hand in front of the world's press.

Prince Harry Meghan Markle Invictus event 2017
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle appeared together at a wheelchair tennis event at the Invictus Games in Toronto, September 25, 2017. Karwai Tang/WireImage/Chris Jackson/Getty Images for the Invictus Games Foundation

Meghan was praised for her ease in the face of such intense public scrutiny. Her relaxed outfit of ripped jeans and crisp white shirt with stylish sunglasses saw the initiation of what would be known as the "Meghan effect" as fans sought to buy out the items she was wearing.

Harry was photographed being tactile with Meghan, signifying to the public and press the seriousness of the relationship.

A Kiss Caught on Camera, 2017

If the public display of affection on day three of the 2017 Invictus Games was deemed intimate then the display shown at the closing ceremony was even more so.

Meghan was invited to attend the closing event with her mother Doria and while Harry was performing his official duties they sat together in the stands to watch him.

Prince Harry Meghan Markle Invictus Kiss 2017
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle appeared together at the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games in Toronto. Prince Harry appeared to give Meghan a kiss during the celebrations. Septmber 30, 2017. Karwai Tang/WireImage

When Harry joined Meghan he gave her their first on-camera kiss, igniting social media with excited posts from fans of the royal.

Two months after the 2017 Invictus Games ended in Toronto, Harry and Meghan stepped out once again in front of the world's press—this time to announce their engagement.

Sussexes Take Sydney, 2018

When the time came for the 2018 Invictus Games, which were due to be held in Sydney, Australia, Harry and Meghan were riding a wave of popularity following their May wedding.

It was decided that as well as visiting the games as the official patron that autumn, Harry would undertake a wider royal tour, introducing his bride and the new Duchess of Sussex to the working routine.

The Sussexes' tour of the South Pacific included visits to Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand.

Prince Harry Meghan Markle Invictus Opening 2018
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attended the opening ceremony of the 2018 Invictus Games in Sydney. Harry's opening speech was well received as Meghan watched from the stands. October 20, 2018. Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage/Karwai Tang/WireImage

At the opening ceremony of the games in Sydney, the royal couple were enthusiastically cheered. As Harry gave his opening address, Meghan watched on from the stands wearing an ultra chic and conservative all navy outfit—a world away from the relaxed style she wore in Toronto the previous year.

Sailing in Sydney Harbour, 2018

To watch the Invictus Games sailing event in the Sydney Harbour in 2018, Harry and Meghan boarded a speedboat wearing matching jackets.

The couple were heavily affectionate during this event and the photographs captured of them arm in arm, animatedly following the boats made for a series of now iconic images.

Prince Harry Meghan Markle Invictus Sailing 2018
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle watched a sailing event arm in arm at the Invictus Games in Sydney Harbour, October 21, 2018. Chris Jackson/Getty Images for the Invictus Games Foundation

Meghan's Solo Speech, 2018

In an unexpected move, Meghan made headlines at the closing ceremony of the 2018 Invictus Games in Sydney as she took to the stage to give a speech before Harry officially closed the proceedings.

Meghan Markle Solo Speech Invictus 2018
Meghan Markle gave a surprise solo speech at the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games in Sydney, October 27, 2018. Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage

This was an early speech given by Meghan as a member of the royal family and showed how at ease and confident she was in discussing topics which she is passionate about.

"​It is such an honor to be here tonight celebrating all of you, and supporting my husband in the Invictus Games, which he founded four years ago," she said as she opened her address.

"In that short span of time," she said, "the Games have evolved into an international platform of some of the best athletics and sportsmanship you could ever witness, coupled with a camaraderie and close-knit sense of community which can only be defined as the Invictus spirit.

"​With that said, and on a very personal note, I just wanted to thank all of you for welcoming me into the Invictus family. I am truly so grateful to be a part of this with each and every one of you."

Return to Europe For the First Time Since Oprah, 2022

The 2020 Invictus Games in the Netherlands had to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic and so are now being held from April 16-22 in The Hague. King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands has confirmed his attendance at the closing ceremony and Harry will be joined by Meghan at the games for the "first few days," a spokesperson for the royals has confirmed.

The games will mark an important milestone for the Sussexes as they appear in Europe for the first time since the broadcast of their March 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey and with a host of professional ties to the games as well as charitable.

The couple face increasing calls to pay a visit to the U.K. on their way to or from the Netherlands as Queen Elizabeth II turns 96 on April 21. Harry's security concerns, which are the subject of an ongoing lawsuit against the U.K. Home Office, could prevent this.

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