Prince Harry was all smiles as the Invictus Games crowd sang him happy birthday as he celebrated turning 39 with Meghan Markle at his side.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived at the Merkur Spiel-Arena in Dusseldorf, Germany, on Friday to watch the host nation’s volleyball team battle it out against Poland for a place in the semi-finals. And as the match coincided with Harry’s 39th birthday, the stadium announcer encouraged the crowd to serenade him with a song to mark the occasion.
As the Duke and Duchess, 42, took their seats in the stands, the announcer said over the loudspeaker: “'Is there anybody here celebrating their own special occasion today?
“Anyone's birthday? Oh I think it is someone's birthday. A certain Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, 39 today. Happy birthday! Let's sing along.”
As the crowd sang happy birthday, Harry clapped and then thanked the fans with a thumbs-up. The Duke was looking fresh-faced despite spending the previous evening drinking German beer and eating wiener schnitzel at a secret feast in Düsseldorf.
According to reports, the event was a "family meal" alongside the Archewell team ahead of Harry's birthday. Meanwhile, Harry had not received a public happy birthday message from either King Charles or Prince William on Friday morning.
According to new protocol, the Royal Family is said to no longer send birthday wishes to people who are not senior working members of the Firm. Harry and Meghan stepped back from senior royal duties in 2020 – and tensions between the Sussexes and the Royal Family have been strained following damaging revelations the couple made in their interview with Oprah Winfrey, in their controversial Netflix documentary and in the Duke’s bombshell memoir Spare.
However, a body language expert has claimed that Harry is “more relaxed” and “a completely different person” since his move to the US with Meghan. The Duke has “reconnected with himself” and has found a “sense of peace” since he and the Duchess left the UK, Darren Stanton added.
Speaking on behalf of Betfair Casino, Darren said: “Harry has become a lot more relaxed since moving to the States. He is a completely different person.
“When he was still in the UK, he had to adhere to a lot of the Royal protocols and we get the impression now that he couldn't really be himself.”
The body language expert added: “In terms of his body language, we've seen Harry show fewer pacifying gestures, meaning he doesn't feel the need to reassure himself as much as he did when he was a working Royal in the UK.”
“There seems to be less pressure on him now and his aura presents that he rarely seems frustrated or nervous when he's in America,” Darren concluded.
This week Harry and Meghan have put in several loved-up appearances at the Invictus Games – an international multi-sport event for wounded, injured and sick service personnel that was founded by the Duke in 2014.
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