Photos: Prince Harry And Meghan Markle In Whistler And This Is What Happened – Day One

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Prince Harry And Meghan Markle In Whistler And This Is What Happened - Day One

Day one of the Invictus Games’ One Year To Go event saw a PDA-packed appearance from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, British lads singing ‘God Save The King,’ sub-zero temperatures – and a lot of emotion. 

I flew up to Vancouver from Los Angeles on Tuesday evening, and even though I had prepared the best I could for the cold mountain temperatures, nothing could truly prepare me; Los Angeles has clearly made me soft. A 9am call time saw a group of us make our way via coach through the gorgeous mountains of western Canada, through Squamish, to Whistler village, where we spent four very cold hours on a snowy mountain side. 

Prince Harry and Meghan had flown in the night before – on a private jet, not United Airlines economy alongside me – but they weren’t expected to arrive until 2pm, so we kicked things off by meeting as many of the 2025 hopefuls as we could. 

It was, however, a sobering moment of recognition that for many of these men and women the Games, and this opportunity, is possibly the first step on a long road back to recovery mentally, and physically. As Mike Bourgeois, an Invictus Games alum, told us earlier in the day, many veterans are not connected to support systems but the Games offer a community for those who feel alone or hopeless, while also providing a lifeline for the family and friends of military personnel who can never truly understand what their loved one have experienced. 

He also reminded us that many of the participants we would meet over the course of the day are perhaps only beginning to process their visible, and invisible, injuries. 

Ivan Morera is an American soldier who was assigned to a special Forces team in Afghanistan in 2013 who were ambushed by Taliban insurgents. “The vehicle we were driving rolled over, and rolled over my left hand which was crushed,” he shared. “My chief sergeant and my junior medic saved my life. I was evacuated.” 

“I believe Prince Harry understands the military personnel very well, because of his experience in Afghanistan and his willingness to put his life on the line for his country,” he continued. 

Ivan – who competed in the 2023 Games as well, added: “I look forward to meeting the Prince and just shaking his hand and saying, ‘Thank you for your service and thank you for the opportunity,'” and he got to do just that later in the day, as he met the pair as they finally made an appearance, around 30 minutes later than planned, on the slopes of Whistler Mountain around 2.30pm. 

Harry, 39, and Meghan, 42, arrived hand-in-hand, and greeted Mike as well as Invictus Games CEO Scott Moore, before they met participants and volunteers – and Harry bravely had a go at sit-skiing. “Do I need to sign a waiver?” he quipped as he was strapped in and shown how to navigate using the outriggers. 

It was a human moment during an event that can, at times, appear impersonal and rote as the cameras click away and hundreds of eyes stare , and really brought home exactly how much these Games mean to the Duke. He was then taken to the top of the ski run, and as they began their descent – followed down by the other participants and their guides- – the smile did not leave his face, as he navigated the outriggers as the sun shone down, and he ended up in front of Meghan who cheered his arrival. 

Together, they then met other participants, taking selfies, recording videos for family and digging into the needs and wants of each nation’s hopeful: What are accommodations like? How are you finding training? Which sport is a struggle? 

After 45 minutes, longer than expected, it was time for the pair to head inside where they spoke to other participants; many of those we met over the course of the day, as Mike had previously shared during our two-hour bus journey north to Whistler, are perhaps only beginning to process their invisible injuries, and this was the opportunity for the Duke to engage with the wounded and injured soldiers in a more comfortable and safe setting. 

“[The Games are] such a big thing for mental health. It allows me to just get everything out whether I’m rowing or weightlifting, or if I’m on the court, I’m able to get all that pain out and then live my life in a better way because I use it as a constructive way to build myself up,” Ivan had told HELLO! earlier in the day. 

“A lot of us withdraw – I used to withdraw a lot, and then when I was exposed to adaptive sports, I was allowed to express myself, I was allowed to cry it out and deal with my PTS, deal with my anxiety…. Now I just want to be a positive [role] model to other service members and show that whatever situation you’re in, you can get through it. There’s always somebody there that needs you in their life.” 

As I write this, now slightly warmer in my hotel room, his words drive home what so many had claimed – that the Invictus Games and its impact truly is more emotional and powerful than you can imagine. 

And not only to the veterans. As we spent some time in Whistler Village before our drive home, a crowd formed as they realized the pair would be exiting and making their way out of the village. Meghan gave a small wave as she entered the white jeep – but it was a loud group of men singing ‘God Save the King,’ that caught my attention and who later revealed how much it meant to them to also see Harry in person. 

“It was fantastic, he is fantastic,” the group, who are working the ski season for a few months exclaimed, each one excitedly speaking over the other, following the encounter. “He was very nice – very beautiful honestly!”  

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Mr Priceless
A young person with a passion for success and excellence to develop a professional career that encourages empowerment in the overall development of a person which is achieved through hard work. A Journalist with facts and a difference; standing by the truth all the time with interests in Science & Technology, Health, Celebrities' Lifestyle, Crimes, Education and Career Improvement.

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