Meghan Markle's Name Mysteriously Vanishes From Prince Harry's Invictus Games Program

The Invictus Games, championed by Prince Harry, is a series of competitive events meant to bring community, honor, healing, and fun to wounded servicemen and women. Initially inspired by the Warrior Games of the U.S., Harry brought the idea of the Invictus Games to fruition in London for the first time in 2014, and he has been the face of them since.

The official schedule of events and appearances for this year's games, which begin in Düsseldorf, Germany on September 9, 2023, initially listed an appearance by Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, who was supposed to "take to the stage to host the intimate and moving glimpse into the extraordinary journeys of the Invictus Games competitors" (via Express). This quote has now been removed from the official Invictus Games guide. 

Instead, the program now says that German Television host Hadnet Tesfai will be giving this particular presentation. This has left royal watchers wondering: Where's Meghan?

Why was Meghan Markle removed from the program?

Sources close to those in charge of the Invictus Games have claimed that the original copy stating that Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, would take the stage to give this tribute was "uploaded in error," and that it had never officially been the plan for Meghan to be the presenter (via Express). It is worth noting that in 2022, Meghan did take the stage at the games, both to introduce Prince Harry and also to honor the servicemen and women who were participating in the events.

While she apparently will not be presenting in the way attendees and viewers may have originally expected, Meghan is still expected to join her husband at the games during the eight-day event. 

The royal couple's new Netflix docuseries, "The Heart of Invictus," which gives an inside look at the games and their purpose, premiered on August 30, 2023. But as of now, the series has not proven to be as popular as their first show "Harry & Meghan," and has not yet made the list of the top 10 shows currently being viewed on the streaming platform.

Meghan was MIA during Prince Harry's arrival to the Invictus Games

The Invictus Games kicked off on Saturday in a big way –- with the arrival of the event founder himself. The official account for the Invictus Games Foundation shared a picture of Prince Harry's arrival. "The Duke of Sussex dropped in this morning to meet with our international group of volunteer categorisers!" they tweeted alongside a photo of the moment. In the picture, the duke can be seen smiling amidst a group of cheerful volunteers, looking excited for the week's activities.

Some fans couldn't help but notice there was one person absent from the group shot. Meghan Markle is nowhere to be found, and the caption only mentions the Duke of Sussex's appearance. The duchess is still expected to show up later in the week, but all signs are pointing toward Meghan playing a smaller role than she has in the past.

Meghan was MIA earlier this week during yet another event that's close to Prince Harry's heart. On Thursday, September 7 Harry traveled to London to attend the awards ceremony for his charity, WellChild. According to Town & Country, the royal took a moment to pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II during the night, saying, "She would have been the first person to insist that I still come to be with you all instead of going to her." Although he didn't give an exact reason for Meghan's absence from the event, Prince Harry did state she was "very upset" she wasn't able to attend (via Metro).