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Prince Harry, Meghan Markle make first public appearance in Europe since stepping back as senior royals

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Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle arrived Friday in the Netherlands for the Invictus Games, marking the couple’s first public appearance in Europe since formally giving up their royal roles.The pair were all smiles as they greeted competitors at the Invictus Games. Harry is a founder and patron of the international sports competition. The event came a day after the couple visited Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle on their first joint visit to the U.K. since moving to America.The couple’s office says they visited the 95-year-old queen, Harry’s grandmother, Thursday on their way to the Netherlands. PRINCE HARRY, MEGHAN MARKLE VISIT QUEEN ELIZABETH TOGETHER FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE LEAVING THE UK
Prince Harry, second left, and Meghan Markle, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, arrive at the Invictus Games venue in The Hague, Netherlands, Friday, April 15, 2022. 
(AP Photo/Peter Dejong)The week-long games are for active servicemen and veterans who are ill, injured or wounded.Harry and Meghan received an enthusiastic welcome from cheering competitors at the games site in a park in The Hague. The event opens Saturday and continues through April 22.Harry and Meghan stepped down as senior working royals and moved to North America in 2020, citing the unbearable pressure of their roles and racist attitudes of the British media.PRINCE ALBERT OF MONACO TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 A SECOND TIME
The week-long games for active servicemen and veterans who are ill, injured or wounded open  Saturday, April 16, 2022, in this Dutch city that calls itself the global center of peace and justice.
(AP Photo/Peter Dejong)Meghan opted for an all-white pantsuit for the event while Harry wore a dark suit.Although this is the first time the royal couple has made their return together to the U.K., Harry has been back for two occasions. Nearly a year ago, he returned for his grandfather Prince Philip’s funeral in April 2021 and then again in July 2021 to witness the unveiling of a statue in honor of his late mother, Princess Diana. MEGHAN MARKLE SEEKS TO TRADEMARK THE WORD ‘ARCHETYPES’ FOR HER NEW SPOTIFY PODCAST
Harry has made solo trips to the U.K. to attend the funeral of his grandfather, Prince Philip, in April 2021. Here, Prince Harry, right, Prince William, Peter Phillips, left, follow the coffin in a ceremonial procession for the funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip inside Windsor Castle in Windsor, England, April 17, 2021.
(Associated Press)Harry and Meghan are expected to attend a reception in The Hague on Friday for the Invictus Games. The former American actress previously joined the British prince at the Toronto Games in 2017, which marked their first appearance as a couple. They announced their engagement two months later.This year’s games were originally scheduled for 2020. However, they were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.Harry, who served 10 years in the British Army, has been a champion of causes that benefit both servicemen and women. He has been involved with the Walking with the Wounded charity and the Endeavor Fund, which honors veterans. Just days after welcoming his son Archie in May 2019, he traveled to the Netherlands to kick off the official countdown to the 2020 games.MEGHAN MARKLE TO JOIN PRINCE HARRY FOR INVICTUS GAMES IN THE NETHERLANDS
Prince Harry, second left, and Meghan Markle, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, upon their arrival in the Netherlands.
(AP Photo/Peter Dejong)As for the former “Suits” star, she traveled to Afghanistan in December 2014 on a USO tour.The visit to the queen came on Maundy Thursday, a day in the week before Easter that the queen for decades marked by distributing silver coins known as “Maundy money” to pensioners at a church service.This year, the queen, who has been experiencing mobility issues in recent months and came down with COVID-19 in February, did not attend. She was represented by her eldest son, Prince Charles, and his wife Camilla.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, and Queen Elizabeth II attend a ceremony to open the new Mersey Gateway Bridge June 14, 2018, in Widnes, England. 
(Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)The monarch also is expected to miss the royal family’s Easter Sunday church service. She has continued to perform royal duties, including virtual audiences with politicians and diplomats.Markle became the Duchess of Sussex when she married Harry in May 2018 at Windsor Castle.CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR ENTERTAINMENT NEWSLETTER
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, hold hands as they arrive at the Invictus Games.
(AP Photo/Peter Dejong)The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s departure from royal duties began in 2020. The family now lives in the coastal city of Montecito, California.”After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution,” the couple said in a joint statement in early 2020. “We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the royal family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support her majesty the queen.”Since then, reports of an alleged rift have emerged after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex gave a bombshell interview to Oprah Winfrey last year that was viewed by nearly 50 million globally.For their current visit to the U.K., it’s been reported the pair did not bring their two young children with them. 
The married couple made global headlines for their interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021.
(AP)The pair’s trip comes on the heels of Harry’s legal team telling a court hearing in February that the royal is unwilling to bring his children to his homeland because it is not safe to do so. Harry has launched a legal challenge against the U.K. government’s refusal to let him personally pay for police protection when he visits Britain. CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPWhile senior members of Britain’s royal family are given taxpayer-funded police protection, Harry lost that when he and Markle stepped down as working royals and moved to the U.S. 
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle formally stepped back as senior members of the British royal family in 2020.
(John Stillwell – WPA Pool/Getty Images)Harry wants to be able to pay for his protection, saying his private security team in the U.S. doesn’t have adequate jurisdiction abroad or access to U.K. intelligence information.Fox News’ Janelle Ash, Stephanie Nolasco and The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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