The glitzy couple raised the roof at last night’s opening ceremony. Picture: Saeed Khan/Pool Photo via AP
The glitzy couple raised the roof at last night’s opening ceremony. Picture: Saeed Khan/Pool Photo via AP

Meghan’s excuse for no-show

PRINCE Harry and Meghan will spend their first day attending Invictus Games events on and around Sydney Harbour today.

However, Meghan will miss the Invictus cycling medal presentation in Sydney's Domain this morning after the late night with the games opening ceremony on Saturday.

The Duchess of Sussex will attend the day's other events.

Harry will be presenting medals alone this morning. Picture: Candace Sutton
Harry will be presenting medals alone this morning. Picture: Candace Sutton

Prince Harry has arrived to rousing cheers from Invictus athletes as he walked through the mini games village set up on the green of Sydney's Doma

It comes after Prince Harry raised a crowd of 4000 competitors, family members and dignitaries to their feet at the Invictus Games opening ceremony as he walked on stage to officially open the event overnight.

Meghan will attend the days other events. Picture: Candace Sutton
Meghan will attend the days other events. Picture: Candace Sutton
The father-to-be also delighted the thousands watching on when he spoke of his baby "joy".

"I have been so proud to be able to introduce my wife to you and we have been so happy to be able to celebrate the personal joy of our newest edition with you all," Harry said.

Earlier this week, he spoke of how he "couldn't think of anywhere better" to announce to the world that he and Meghan were expecting their first child.

'TOO BRUISED'

However, overnight, the British press has reported that the Duchess of Sussex refused to tell dad Thomas Markle she was pregnant - and instead asked mum Doria to do it.

A source told The Sun, the mother-to-be was feeling too "bruised and raw" to speak to him after her father revealed details of his conversations with Prince Harry.

Meghan sparkled ahead of the opening ceremony wearing a Stella McCartney dress she previously donned for the Queen's Birthday celebrations at London's Royal Albert Hall in April.

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, with her husband Britain's Prince Harry meets guests at a reception inside Sydney's iconic Opera House Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018. (Saeed Khan/Pool Photo via AP)
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, with her husband Britain's Prince Harry meets guests at a reception inside Sydney's iconic Opera House Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018. (Saeed Khan/Pool Photo via AP)

The Duke and Duchess will present cycling medals after a time trial in the Royal Botanic Garden and board a boat at Farm Cove this afternoon to watch sailing on the Harbour before heading off on Monday for Fraser Island, off the coast of Queensland.

Harry and Meghan will watch the Road Cycling Time Trials near the NSW Art Gallery, which will take place over three hours from 9.30am, and present gold, silver and bronze medals to the winners.

The adored couple will be heading to Fraser Island today. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images for the Invictus Games Foundation
The adored couple will be heading to Fraser Island today. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images for the Invictus Games Foundation

At lunchtime, the royal couple will attend Prime Minister Scott Morrison's Invictus Games reception at the Pavilion Restaurant in Sydney's Domain.

The Duke and Duchess will meet games competitors, mental health organisation representatives, and children from the Kookaburra Kids Foundation, the Endeavour Clontarf Academy and the Australian air force Cadets.

This afternoon, Harry and Meghan will board a boat to watch the Invictus sailing final.

Tonight they will attend an Invictus Games reception at Government House hosted by the NSW Governor David Hurley, and his wife Linda Hurley.

ARTIST IMPRESSIONS OF NEW BABY

It has been a rollercoaster week for the affable couple, who will undertake a whopping 76 engagements on this mammoth 16-day tour.

However, senior Palace source told British press overnight the couple are now "pacing themselves" during the busy visit because of the pregnancy bombshell.

"It's a long tour and with so many engagements it's a real undertaking, but they are feeling good and pacing themselves," the source told The Mirror.

The British press has also released mock-up images of what the new royal baby might look like - created by American forensic artist Joe Mullins.

He looked at numerous recent photos of them both, to create the images.

American forensic artist Joe Mullins used recent royal pictures to create the images. Picture: Joe Mullins
American forensic artist Joe Mullins used recent royal pictures to create the images. Picture: Joe Mullins

STUNNING RECEPTION

Prince Harry raised a crowd of 4000 competitors, family members and dignitaries to their feet at the Invictus Games opening ceremony as he walked on stage to officially open the event overnight.

"You are the optimistic generation. You are the new generation of service and you are the role models to us all.," he told competitors.

'Hello Sydney!' Prince Harry raised the crowd to their feet as he declared the Invictus Games open. Picture: ABC
'Hello Sydney!' Prince Harry raised the crowd to their feet as he declared the Invictus Games open. Picture: ABC

The Duke thanked Australians for welcoming he and wife Meghan this week and said they were happy to celebrate the news of their "newest addition" with the country.

He then gave a special message to the country.

"I have a mission for all of you Aussies. And it's not how many shrimps you can put on the barbie," he joked.

"Our competitors have made it to these games, most of them travelling from many thousands of miles away.

"It's your job to cheer them on and share their stories. It's your privilege to watch in the stands or with your friends and families around the television. It's your responsibility to make sure your children know how amazing these guys and girls really are."

The crowd gave the prince a standing ovation and cheered as he left the stage.

ROYAL SUCCESS

The wet weather which earlier threatened to wash out the event failed to dampen the spirit of athletes who have filed into last night's ceremony after severe thunder storms lashed the Harbour and delayed the opening by over an hour.

Some attendees were apparently put off by the weather. Some seats remained vacant on the steps of the Opera House with Invictus officials telling news.com.au a number of attendees had left.

But the wet weather hasn't dampened the spirits of competitors. The Australian team is chanting "Aussie Aussie Aussie, oi oi oi!" As the remaining attendees find their seats on the slippery forecourt.

The 500 athletes from 18 nations, along with their families and supporters, had earlier arrived at the function by boat as the rain poured down.

Prince Harry couldn’t take his eyes off his wife Meghan as the opening ceremony of the Invictus Games got under way. Picture: Toby Zerna
Prince Harry couldn’t take his eyes off his wife Meghan as the opening ceremony of the Invictus Games got under way. Picture: Toby Zerna

The ceremony has included traditional Aboriginal dancing and performances from Australian favourites like Kate Ceberano and Lee Kernaghan, but it was Magda Szubanski who stole the show.

Giving the royal couple the full Aussie treatment, the much-loved comedian burst onto the stage dressed in character as her famous Kath & Kim alter ego Sharon Strzelecki.

Australian athletes enter the forecourt of the Sydney Opera House for the opening ceremony. Picture: Toby Zerna
Australian athletes enter the forecourt of the Sydney Opera House for the opening ceremony. Picture: Toby Zerna

Earlier that day, he paid tribute to the thousands of Australians who lost their lives in battle during a visit to the Anzac Memorial in Sydney.

Harry and Meghan laid a wreath on the memorial steps, and as a piper played the military lament, Prince Harry saluted. The Duke also saluted while the Australian national anthem was played.

The couple bowed their heads as a minute's silence was held to honour the fallen, and Prince Harry stood stiffly at attention by his wife during the military presentation of arms.



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