Prince Harry shares cheeky joke about his and Meghan's new 'rivalry' as he makes surprise appearance in Germany

Prince Harry made a cheeky joke about him and his wife as he paid a visit to Germany for the Invictus Games

Prince Harry Germany
(Image credit: Dan Charity - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

During his speech at the Invictus Games opening ceremony, Prince Harry opened up about his and Meghan Markle's new 'rivalry' with a cheeky remark.

Meghan Markle may not yet have joined Prince Harry at this year's Invictus Games in Düsseldorf, Germany, but she is definitely on his mind. During the Prince's speech, which he gave during the Game's opening ceremony just days after making a poignant tribute to Queen Elizabeth II on the anniversary of her death, he joked that a new 'rivalry' has grown between him and his wife and it will certainly be affecting their approach to the competition currently taking place.

Harry shared that the Invictus Games are 'likely to get a little more competitive this year' as he revealed he and Meghan, who was given a bizarre nickname by King Charles III, will be supporting different teams. Harry will be cheering on Team UK after his recent visit to his home country, though he didn't meet up with his family during the trip, while Meghan will be supporting Team Nigeria, who are at the Games for the first time this year, as she has recently discovered she is of Nigerian descent. 

Welcoming the new teams to the celebration, Harry said in his speech, "We’re really excited to have new nations join us. Let’s hear it for Colombia, Israel and Nigeria. 

"I’m not saying we play favourites in my home but, since my wife discovered that she is of Nigerian descent, it’s likely to get a little bit more competitive this year."

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Invictus Games

(Image credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images for the Invictus Games Foundation)

Meghan revealed her newly-discovered ancestry during an episode of her now-axed Spotify podcast Archetypes earlier this year. She shared that she had done a genealogy test and discovered that she was 43% Nigerian. 

While she has not yet established exactly which Nigerian tribe her ancestors were from, Meghan said she was planning to dig deeper and narrow down her search with more research. 

She said, "I just had my genealogy done a couple years ago. [I'm] 43% Nigerian. I'm going to start to dig deeper into all this because anybody that I've told, especially Nigerian women, are like 'What?'!"

Meghan has not yet arrived to meet her husband in Düsseldorf, but with the games soon to be underway she is expected to touch down at some point this week. This is a change from many of Harry's other appearances, an expert has pointed out, where he relies on Meghan to introduce or support him through poignant moments. 

There was also a notable difference in Harry's words, the expert believes. While he revealed one personal insight into his and Meghan's lives during his speech, he kept other 'personal references' to a minimum. This is something body language expert Judi James believes shows he has 'grown-up' and 'matured' as he steps away from curating a 'celebrity' image.

Prince Harry Invictus Games 2023

(Image credit: Joris Verwijst/BSR Agency/Getty Images)

Speaking about the speech, she told The Mirror, "This was a very different Harry from previous years and different from the Harry we normally see when his wife is either on stage introducing him or sitting supporting him in the audience. Despite the cheer, chants and standing ovation, Harry’s body language behaviour made him look more mature, more grown-up, less of a celebrity and more low-key. There was no playing to the crowd or showboating.

"His delivery was more like a team coach or a teacher, pacing the stage with the mic clutched in one hand and the other doing 'finger or fist' rituals, either clenched into a fist as he spoke or with the index finger stabbing or waggling to make his points with authority. 

"Apart from this one personal reference, Harry made the athletes the focus of his speech, suggesting he has lowered the ego by dropping all the usual, signature references about himself.

"He ended with a revving of the audience, shouting 'Are you ready?' twice before a loud ‘Let’s do this!’ but again it was followed by no milking of the applause, he just strode off with a thumbs up gesture, sucking his lips in and looking serious."

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse
Freelance news writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is royal news and entertainment writer. She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with Good To, BBC Good Food and The Independent.