Meghan Markle appears at Prince Harry’s Invictus Games

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Meghan Markle appears at Prince Harry’s Invictus Games
Meghan Markle appears at Prince Harry’s Invictus Games

TORONTO (AP) – Prince Harry’s girlfriend, American actress Meghan Markle, sat in the stands for Saturday’s opening ceremony of his Invictus Games for wounded veterans in her first appearance at a public event with him.

They were not sitting together at the Air Canada Centre. They were about four rows apart but Harry looked over at her when the Canadian anthem played. A security guard blocked at least one fan from taking pictures of Markle, who sat with friend Markus Anderson, a party consultant.

Markle lives in Toronto, but hadn’t appeared with Harry since he arrived in the city. She recently told Vanity Fair they’re in love. The 36-year-old actress was wearing a burgundy leather jacket over a dark dress. She is known for her portrayal of a paralegal in the television show “Suits.”

The Invictus Games are the creation of Prince Harry, who got the inspiration to help wounded and sick military personnel and their families after his two tours of duty in Afghanistan. This is the third Invictus Games.

“I hope you are ready for some fierce competition,” Harry said to the crowd and wounded athletes. “You are all winners. You are all Invictus. Let’s get started.”

Markle smiled broadly when Harry spoke and raised her hands to her face and laughed when he mangled a line in French. She left right after his speech.

About 550 competitors from 17 countries are slated to compete in 12 sports over the next week. U.S. First Lady Melania Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also attended the opening ceremony.

Bruce Springsteen and Bryan Adams will perform at the closing ceremony next Saturday.

U.S. Master Sgt. Brian Williams, who had his left leg amputated at the knee because of an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan in 2012, said Harry is living up to the legacy of his late mother Diana with his charity work.

“He’s following in his mother footsteps. Straight up,” Williams said.

Williams said he has a lot of respect for Harry, a former soldier who served in Afghanistan. “He doesn’t have to do this but he is,” he said.

Williams was working as a dog handler during his second deployment in Afghanistan when he was severely injured while clearing a Taliban compound. Despite his injuries he has worked hard to stay on active duty. He also competed in last year’s Invictus Games in Orlando and he’s taking part in wheelchair basketball and sitting volleyball this year.

Canadian Melanie Harris is set to compete in bioarchery. Harris did two tours of duty in Afghanistan with the Canadian military. She would help carry bring in wounded soldiers to the medical facilities on base. She has since struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder.

“I was living without passion, without purpose. I needed to believe in myself again and I needed to be inspired. And these Invictus Games that’s what they did,” Harris said.

Meghan Markle, top, attends the Invictus Games Opening Ceremonies in Toronto on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, a few rows apart from her boyfriend, Britain’s Prince Harry. Markle lives in Toronto, but hadn’t appeared with Harry since he arrived in the city. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
Meghan Markle attends the Invictus Games Opening Ceremonies in Toronto on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, a few rows apart from her boyfriend, Britain’s Prince Harry. Markle lives in Toronto, but hadn’t appeared with Harry since he arrived in the city. (Frank Gunn /The Canadian Press via AP)
From left, U.S. first lady Melania Trump, Britain’s Prince Harry and Canada’s Governor General David Johnston attend the opening ceremonies of the Invictus Games in Toronto on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)
Britain’s Prince Harry, left, meets with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Toronto on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP)
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau welcomes United States first lady Melania Trump prior to the opening ceremonies of the Invictus Games in Toronto on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
Prince Harry greets a waiting crowd as he visits The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP)
Prince Harry attends a round table discussion on youth mental health as he visits The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP)
Britain’s Prince Harry, left, meets an athlete from the Denmark wheelchair basketball team during training in the lead-up to the Invictus Games, in Toronto on Friday, Sept. 22, 2017. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
First lady Melania Trump hugs a girl as she participates in an harvesting and planting event with the Boys and Girls Club of Washington in the White House Kitchen Garden on the South Lawn of the White House, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
In this Friday, Sept. 22, 2017 photo, U.S. Master Sergeant Brian Williams poses for a photo at the Invictus Games, in Toronto. Williams, who’s left leg was amputated at the knee because of an IED explosion in Afghanistan in 2012, said Invictus founder Prince Harry is living up to the legacy of his late mother Diana with his charity work. (AP Photo/Rob Gillies)
Britain’s Prince Harry, left, meets with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Toronto on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP)
The daughter of a Team Netherlands competitor cries after her father was awarded a gold medal from Prince Harry in the Jaguar Land Rover Challenge at the Invictus Games in Toronto on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. (Chris Donovan/The Canadian Press via AP)
Fans from Denmark cheer on their national team who received a bronze medal in the Jaguar Land Rover Challenge at the Invictus Games in Toronto on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. (Chris Donovan/The Canadian Press via AP)
Meghan Markle, top right, attends the Invictus Games Opening Ceremonies in Toronto on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, a few rows apart from her boyfriend, Britain’s Prince Harry. Markle lives in Toronto, but hadn’t appeared with Harry since he arrived in the city. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
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