The Duke and Duchess of Sussex delighted Invictus Games competitors when they made an unannounced appearance at an evening reception last night.
Meghan, 40, and Harry, 37, were seen mingling with competitors and fans as the sporting event’s second day reached its close at Zuiderpark, in The Hague.
Wearing a £3,600 Valentino dress, Meghan smiled as she posed for photos with Siraj Munir, an Iraqi former serviceman who is competing in the events.
Meanwhile Harry spent time speaking to members of the Ukrainian and Iraqi delegations.
The royal couple are understood to have been unexpected guests at last night’s engagement.
Meghan, 40, and Harry, 37, were seen mingling with competitors and fans at an engagement on Sunday night. Pictured, Meghan with Iraqi competitor Siraj Munir, who shared photos taken with Meghan and Harry with MailOnline
IspS Handa ambassador Brendan Scannell, IspS Handa Director Kevin O’Brien, Former Prime Minister of the Republic of Ireland, IspS Handa Patron Enda Kenny, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Invictus Games Foundation Chairman Charles Allen, Baron Allen of Kensington, CBE pose at the IGF Reception during day two of the Invictus Game
Prince Harry, dressed in a linen suit, also posed for photographs with competitors including Mr Munir, pictured, and members of the Ukrainian delegation at the event on Sunday night
Meghan, who was spotted wearing jeans and a wrap white top earlier in the day, switched to an off white dress with floral cut outs on the shoulder for the early evening.
The mother-of-two looked very stylish, pairing the dress with black heels and a small handbag, also in black.
Her black locks were swooped to the side of the face, and the Duchess also sported a pair of sunglasses, shielding from the Dutch sun as she dropped in to greet fans.
Meghan sported a glamourous everyday makeup, adding a touch of colour with a bold red lip.
The couple hopped from one engagement to the other as they toured the Games’ second day yesterday, with their Netflix filming crew following their every move.
They started off the day by watching a number of the sporting events, including the sitting volleyball.
They then parted ways for the afternoon. Harry went to film content with the BBC, while Meghan attended a children’s book reading organised by the British Embassy.
Left: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and President of the International Paralympics Committee Andrew Parsons talk a the IGF Reception. Right: Meghan talks to athletes
The Duke of Sussex chats with members of the Iraqi Invictus Team at the IGF Reception
Prince Harry chats with German Invictus Team members
The couple started off Sunday by watching a number of sporting events at the Invictus Games, including the sitting volleyball, pictured
Harry and Meghan then parted ways for the afternoon. Harry went to film content with the BBC, while Meghan attended a children’s book reading organised by the British Embassy (above)
During the engagement on Sunday afternoon (pictured), Meghan spent time meeting fans and well-wishers
She told British army veteran James Stride that she had wanted to attend the reading as it meant she was around children, and they reminded her of her own back home in California.
‘Meghan was quite chatty and told me she was missing her children,’ said James, one of the GB competitors in the games being held in The Hague.
‘She said she wanted to be with children as she was missing her own.’
The couple’s first trip to Europe is understood to be the longest they have been apart from Archie, three and ten month old Lili.
Prince Harry, whose commitment to the Games has outlived his role as a senior royal seemed very relaxed and was determined to discuss issues close to his heart as the Games’ second day rolled on.
In their first engagement on Sunday, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle watched competitors take part in some of the events. Pictured, the couple hug Lisa Johnston, a former army medic and amputee, who celebrates with her medal win
The couple spent time speaking to competitors at each of the events on Sunday, including athletes from Team USA
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex appeared in good spirits as they took in the action in their first engagement of the day on Sunday
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex pose for a photo with competitors from Iraq at the Invictus Games athletics events in the Athletics Park, at Zuiderpark the Hague, Netherlands, in their first engagement on Sunday
Speaking with the Netherlands’ Kindercorrespondent reporters yesterday, he said he wanted his two young children, Archie and Lilibet – known as Lili – to grow up ‘in a fairer world, a safer world, a more equal world’.
‘It’s not going to be easy but I will never, ever, ever rest until I have as a parent at least tried to make the world a better place for them because it is our responsibility that the world is the way it is now,’ the Duke told the child reporters, aged 11 and 12.
‘I don’t think that we should be bringing children into the world unless we’re going to make that commitment to make it better for them. We cannot steal your future.’
It comes as the Duchess of Sussex revealed how she is missing her two young children while attending the Invictus Games alongside Harry.
Meghan made the confession as she sat in of a reading to a group of 12 children in a private event organised by the British Embassy.
Meghan and Harry congratulate medal winners at the Invictus Games after one of the events on Sunday
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex greet competitors from Italy as they watched some of the events during their first engagement on Sunday
Harry and Meghan’s ‘VVIP’ security operation: Royals are being protected at Invictus Games by private guards including ex-Obama secret service agent and Dutch King’s taxpayer-funded elite armed officers
BY PAUL THOMPSON IN THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS, FOR MAILONLINE
A former US presidential secret service agent has been assigned to lead close protection for the couple and it has been left to armed protection officers who usually guard the King of the Netherlands to provide security outside of the venue.
Since arriving at the Invictus Games the couple always travel in a three-car convoy with burly Christopher Sanchez, a former bodyguard to President Obama, sitting in the front seat.
A second Land Rover with two other private security guards follows Harry and Meghan’s vehicle while an unmarked Audi car containing two members of the Dutch Royal protection squad trails behind.
An officer from the Dutch royal police shadowing Harry and Meghan during their visit to the Invictus Games yesterday
The Duchess of Sussex being shadowed by Christopher Sanchez, a former bodyguard to President Obama
Meghan getting into a Land Rover Defender at the Invictus Games with Sanchez – a former Secret Service agent – following behind
Visitors to the Zuiderpark where the Invictus Games are being staged saw the three-car convoy sweep into the venue with Sanchez one of the first to jump from the car and stand protectively by Meghan’s side.
He was also with her during a book reading to a group of children and sat in a golf buggy that left with Meghan and two of her aides.
Security guards from a company Dutch based First Line Security provide extra back up in the crowd.
They were spotted standing among the fans hoping to catch a glimpse of Meghan during the book reading and stood close by while she posed for selfies.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry arriving at the athletics track at Zuiderpark, the Netherlands, on Sunday, April 17
All the guards wore earpieces to keep in contact with each other but did not carry firearms.
During Meghan and Harry’s visit the officers from the Dutch Royal Protection squad remained with the cars.
One officer confirmed to MailOnline he was part of the team usually assigned to provide protection for the King of Holland.
He was armed and a small cannister of pepper spray was visible on a utility belt.
Having been given VVIP status Harry would not have to pay for the Dutch royal police to provide protection.
But he will be footing the bill for the ever-present private security firms with one expert in the field saying the cost would be six figures.
Meghan is understood to be returning to America today and likely travel with a bodyguard. Harry does not have any public appearances at the events scheduled but is due to return on Tuesday to meet competitors at two events.
The duke is at the heart of an extraordinary legal wrangle over his security when coming to Britain.
He mounted a legal challenge against the Home Office having been told he would no longer be given the ‘same degree’ of personal protective security when visiting from the US, despite claiming he had offered to pay for it himself.
For the visit to Holland Harry and his wife were given VVIP (very, very important person status that allowed Dutch royal protection officers to be assigned to them.
A source said the police officers are responsible for security outside the Zuiderpark venue where all the events for the injured and disabled servicemen are taking place.
Inside the park private security led by former Secret Service agent Sanchez keep watch over the couple.
Dutch Royal Protection sit in their car. Having been given VVIP status Harry would not have to pay for the Dutch royal police to provide protection
Harry has played a key role in the Invictus Games since its inception. Pictured: The Prince accompanied by staff and bodyguards at the event
A former secret service agent and police officer from Texas, Sanchez has been chosen to act as close personal security because of his experience at big sporting events.
He is a vice president of the Torchstone Global, a private security firm for millionaires and companies.
Prior to joining the company Sanchez was responsible for helping organise security at many major US sporting events, including NFL games and golf tournaments.
His experience of protecting former presidents Barack Obama and George W Bush would have been a major attraction to Harry and Meghan.
Sanchez was primarily based in Texas with the Secret Service where he was assigned to protect George W Bush who had a home in the town of Midland,
His CV on his Linkedin page lists his duties as carrying out advance security missions ahead of visits by the President and the First Lady.
It says he conducted ‘conducted lead advances and evaluating security concerns through strategic intelligence both foreign and domestic.’
The Sussexes are at the centre of a complex security operation made up of a mixture of private security and Dutch police
Sanchez spent five years as part of the US Secret Service, spending two-and-a-half years each with Barack Obama and George W Bush
Harry walking through the Invictus Games park shadowed by security and a camera crew from Netflix
Before joining the secret service, he was a police officer based in Houston, Texas.
He has been with Torchstone for three years and he says he offers high profile clients such as Harry and Meghan ‘peace of mind and confidence in an increasingly unstable and unpredictable world.’
Describing his expertise he says he is ‘skilled in Crisis Management, Computer Forensics, Fraud Investigations, Criminal Law, and Internal Investigations.
His CV on LinkedIn reads: Mr. Sanchez is a Vice President with TorchStone Global, a premiere risk advisory firm formed to serve the unique needs of the world’s leading organizations and individuals. The company focuses its efforts on preventive measures in Personal Protection, Cyber Security, Fraud Prevention, and Intelligence Gathering.
‘TorchStone Global delivers customized security solutions for clients who seek to protect their most important assets: People, Capital, and Information.’
Harry and Meghan’s annual bill for security has been put at close to £7m.
As he has been stripped of all his royal patronages he does not qualify for protection from the US secret service who would normally be assigned by the State Department.
Sanchez can be seen standing in the background keeping a keen eye on proceedings as Meghan and Harry speak with Games-goers
Christopher Sanchez, pictured hand on the car, to the left of the picture behind President Obama during an Irish visit