Germany Takes A Firm Stance On Meghan And Harry's Private Trip

In terms of travel, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, have been making up for lost time lately. In the first months after putting down roots in California, the couple stayed close to home. The birth of their second child, Lilibet, also kept them in nesting mode for a while. 

Then came 2022, which saw the Sussexes jetting overseas for both the Invictus Games in the Netherlands and for Queen Elizabeth's historical Platinum Jubilee weekend in London. They took advantage of both occasions for quiet visits with the queen, though it's said that they avoided contact with the prince's estranged brother, Prince William.

Now, the couple is back in Europe on another whirlwind tour. They hit the UK first, where they participated in the One Young World Summit in Manchester. Per People, the two participated in a roundtable on gender equality and then went to the opening ceremony, where Meghan gave the keynote address. 

Their next stop was Düsseldorf, Germany, where they helped celebrate the one-year countdown to the Invictus Games, the sporting event for injured military veterans.

The Sussexes' travels have been the source of controversy this year, much of it surrounding their security. Harry has been engaged in a legal battle over protection for months: His legal team argues that he and his family need high-level security because of his royal status, but the British government disagrees. 

Now, it seems that the German government has taken sides on this issue as well.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had to provide their own security

In a now-familiar scenario, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, had to provide their own security detail on the Germany leg of their trip. 

According to the Daily Mail, the law enforcement authorities in Düsseldorf refused to provide official protection to the couple on the grounds that this was a "private" visit rather than an official occasion. The department did, however, provide officers to manage crowd control in areas such as the city hall and the arena where the Invictus Games will be held in 2023. 

Witnesses in the area told the outlet that they didn't see any extraordinary measures being taken to protect the Sussexes, such as barriers around local businesses. However, their car convoy route was blocked off to local traffic when the couple traveled. A police source added, "The policing will be very low key. [Prince Harry] is here as a private individual, but he is a guest of the city and we want to make sure he feels safe."

It's not known whether the prince actually requested extra security for his German stopover or whether he realized it would be just as futile as his messy security battle with the UK police. However, the lack of government security didn't stop them from enjoying a mini-cruise down the Rhine River. At the Invictus Games event, they posed for a photo with the mayor of Düsseldorf and other dignitaries.