Prince Harry gets into the Invictus spirit! Smiling Duke of Sussex cheers and chants at racetrack on second day of Games in Germany as royal joins VIP spectators including Ukrainian Minister Yulia Laputina

Prince Harry was in boisterous mood today as he joined in chanting with spectators at the track and field event at the Invictus Games.

He was cheered by the crowd as he took his seat in the grandstand at the Merkur Spiel-Arena in Dusseldorf along with half a dozen members of his entourage.

As competitors took part in a 200 metre race, the Duke of Sussex could be seen cupping his hands to his mouth and cheering along with the crowd.

Harry sat next to Yulia Laputina, Ukraine’s Minister of Veterans Affairs, who wore a green military uniform and draped a Ukrainian flag over her shoulders in a show of patriotism. 

The Duke was due to spend an hour at the event and will later attend the final of the wheelchair rugby, which is often one of his favourites to watch.

The Duke of Sussex could be seen cupping his hands to his mouth and cheering with the crowd

The Duke of Sussex could be seen cupping his hands to his mouth and cheering with the crowd

Prince Harry with Ukrainian Minister of Veteran Affairs Yulia Laputina in Dusseldorf today

Prince Harry with Ukrainian Minister of Veteran Affairs Yulia Laputina in Dusseldorf today

Prince Harry greets Kasper Holm Henriksen as he attends the track and field event today

Prince Harry greets Kasper Holm Henriksen as he attends the track and field event today

The Duke of Sussex walking around the athletics track during the track and field finals today

The Duke of Sussex walking around the athletics track during the track and field finals today

Prince Harry speaks to a fellow spectator during the Invictus Games in Dusseldorf today

Prince Harry speaks to a fellow spectator during the Invictus Games in Dusseldorf today

Harry was accompanied to the event in Germany today by a member of the Ukrainian military

Harry was accompanied to the event in Germany today by a member of the Ukrainian military 

Prince Harry greets Ukrain'es Minister for Veterans Affairs Yulia Laputina at the Games today

Prince Harry greets Ukrain’es Minister for Veterans Affairs Yulia Laputina at the Games today

Harry has said he plans to attend as many events as he can during the week-long competition for wounded and disabled military veterans.

A constant stream of music blasted out over speakers along the racetrack kept the spectators in a party mood.

The large contingent of Team UK supporters took part in a Mexican wave along with family and friends from other countries.

At the wheelchair basketball – where he playfully tugged on the beard of a Canadian supporter – there was a revolving door of dignitaries who were sat the next to the Prince.

First came the Nigerian defence minister, Nasa administrator Bill Nelson and finally a member of the South Korean delegation at the games.

Harry had arrived at the event trailed by dozens of excited schoolchildren who had been given time off from studies to attend the event.

His chief bodyguard Chris Sanchez led the way as Harry walked briskly to his seat in the grandstand.

Harry’s wife Meghan Markle is expected to meet some of the children attending the event when she arrives at the games later this week.

She and Harry will be staying in the Presidential suite at the waterfront hotel where on Friday they will celebrate his 39th birthday.

Harry reacts as he attends the athletics event at the 2023 Invictus Games in Dusseldorf today

Harry reacts as he attends the athletics event at the 2023 Invictus Games in Dusseldorf today

The Duke of Sussex meets competitors as he attends the track and field even today

The Duke of Sussex meets competitors as he attends the track and field even today

Prince Harry greets a spectator at the track and field finals at the Invictus Games today

Prince Harry greets a spectator at the track and field finals at the Invictus Games today

Prince Harry greets Denmark's Kasper Holm Henriksen at the track and field event today

Prince Harry greets Denmark’s Kasper Holm Henriksen at the track and field event today

The Duke of Sussex greets a Denmark team competitor at the Games this morning

The Duke of Sussex greets a Denmark team competitor at the Games this morning

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex meets competitor Wali Noori at the Invictus Games today

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex meets competitor Wali Noori at the Invictus Games today

Harry has said he plans to attend as many events as he can during the week-long competition for wounded and disabled military veterans

Harry has said he plans to attend as many events as he can during the week-long competition for wounded and disabled military veterans 

Prince Harry greets Ukrain'es Minister for Veterans Affairs Yulia Laputina at the Games today

Prince Harry greets Ukrain’es Minister for Veterans Affairs Yulia Laputina at the Games today

Harry's wife Meghan Markle is expected to meet some of the children attending the event when she arrives at the games later this week

Harry’s wife Meghan Markle is expected to meet some of the children attending the event when she arrives at the games later this week 

The Duke of Sussex meets competitors as he attends the track and field even today

The Duke of Sussex meets competitors as he attends the track and field even today

The Duke founded the games to aid the rehabilitation of military personnel by giving them the challenge of competing in sporting events similar to the Paralympics.

This year’s competition will run until September 16.

A total of 550 sick, wounded and injured former and current military personnel from 21 countries are taking part in ten team and individual sports.

Team UK, who are captained by Royal Navy submarine officer Lieutenant Commander James Rogers, has been supported by the Royal British Legion in partnership with the Ministry of Defence.

Harry revealed on Saturday at the opening ceremony that Meghan will be cheering for Nigeria at the games this year after discovering that she is of Nigerian descent.

The Duke said that while the Sussexes do not ‘play favourites’, the discovery means that things are likely to get ‘a little bit more competitive’ between the couple.

‘We’re also very excited to have new nations join us,’ the duke told the packed arena. ‘Let’s hear it for Colombia, Israel, and Nigeria.’

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

Meanwhile Harry has taken part in a penalty shootout on German TV, and lost without scoring a goal. 

The Duke founded the games to aid the rehabilitation of military personnel by giving them the challenge of competing in sporting events similar to the Paralympics

The Duke founded the games to aid the rehabilitation of military personnel by giving them the challenge of competing in sporting events similar to the Paralympics 

Harry speaks with French athletes while attending the athletics event at the Games today

Harry speaks with French athletes while attending the athletics event at the Games today

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex meets competitor Wali Noori at the Invictus Games today

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex meets competitor Wali Noori at the Invictus Games today

Prince Harry greets Ukrain'es Minister for Veterans Affairs Yulia Laputina at the Games today

Prince Harry greets Ukrain’es Minister for Veterans Affairs Yulia Laputina at the Games today

There was a revolving door of dignitaries who were sat the next to the Prince at the games

There was a revolving door of dignitaries who were sat the next to the Prince at the games

The engaged and excited looking duke chats with spectators at the games

The engaged and excited looking duke chats with spectators at the games  

The prince revealed on Saturday at the opening ceremony that Meghan will be cheering for Nigeria at the games this year after discovering that she is of Nigerian descent

The prince revealed on Saturday at the opening ceremony that Meghan will be cheering for Nigeria at the games this year after discovering that she is of Nigerian descent 

The Duke was involved in the challenge on TV channel ZDF alongside German defence minister Boris Pistorius and two athletes from the Invictus Games.

Harry joked ‘what happens for zero?’ before taking part in the penalty shootout and agreed to wear a German jersey if he missed his attempts.

In place of a goalkeeper, two holes were created in the goal for competitors to score through.

Harry politely joked with audience members sitting close to the goal ‘you might want to move’ before he stepped up to the mark.

After a quick dance, the duke hit his first two attempts straight down the middle of the goal, missing the hole in the bottom right corner. While his third attempt was closer it also missed.

The duke then watched Mr Pistorius calmly net his first two chances. Harry returned to have another three shots later in the shootout but he was unable to get the ball through a hole in the top left corner.

Since there were no German shirts nearby Harry put on a FSV Mainz 05 scarf following his defeat and joked with the German politician ‘in your spare time you could manage the national team’.

source: dailymail.co.uk