Prince Harry, Meghan Markle
DUSSELDORF, GERMANY – SEPTEMBER 9: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex onstage during the Opening Ceremony of the Invictus Games 2023 at the Merkur Spiel-Arena on September 9, 2023 in Dusseldorf, Germany. (Photo by Joris Verwijst/BSR Agency/Getty Images)

Meghan Markle may have had her name removed from the lineup of speakers at the Invictus Games but the Duchess of Sussex was still there in spirit as her husband, Prince Harry, launched the event with a little joke about the former Suits star’s own competitive streak.

To catch you up to speed: the royal heir is currently in Dusseldorf, Germany, which is this year’s host city to for the event that Prince Harry launched back in 2014 to honour wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women, both serving and veterans. The 38-year-old had flown in from London where, according to news reports, the youngest son of King Charles III had privately commemorated the one year anniversary of the death of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.

Markle did not travel to London and nor has the mother of two arrived in Germany. Only days before, Markle had been listed as being one of the speakers at the Invictus Games. Replacing her was a local German television host.

While stories have floated around as to why Markle, 42, had been removed from the official Games line-up and also why she had delayed travelling to Germany to meet Harry ahead of the launch although the reason is fairly simple: Markle simply wants to minimise the time she spends away from her two children. But, the Duchess was still there in name if not in person.

Standing in front of his fellow soldiers and veterans, Harry made a gentle quip about his wife and the recent addition of several countries to the Games – Colombia, Israel and Nigeria.

“Now, I’m not saying we play favourites 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 said. The comment comes after Markle revealed that she had done a little 23andMe-esque digging into her genealogy test years back and learnt she is 43 percent Nigerian.

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry
INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 04: (Editorial Use Only) (Exclusive Coverage) (L-R) Kerry Washington, Kelly Rowland and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, attend the “RENAISSANCE WORLD TOUR” at SoFi Stadium on September 04, 2023 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage for Parkwood)

Markle has been slowly returning to public life, soft launching an Instagram account and appearing in the photos of friends. Recently, the stunning actress was spotted at Beyoncé’s Renaissance Tour – along with nearly every other celebrity – with friends Kerry Washington and former Destiny’s Child bandmate Kelly Rowland.