Meghan Markle was ‘keen to show her support as Prince Harry’s cheerleader’ at the Invictus Games this week – but instead she made her husband seem ‘like a spare part’, royals experts have claimed.
The Duchess of Sussex, 42, reunited with the Duke, who turns 39 today, at a glitzy hotel party for the competition on Tuesday, in Dusseldorf, Germany.
But the prince, who founded the games in 2014, was left taking a back seat as Meghan spoke of her parenting duties and praised competitors in an ‘off the cuff’ speech made in front of hundreds of military veterans.
Meghan’s impromptu address left Harry looking like ‘a spare part’, according to The Daily Mail’s Royal Editor Rebecca English, who claimed that the move wouldn’t have happened if they were still members of the Royal Family.
‘I do see the rationale behind Meghan accompanying him – you often see William accompanying Kate on things that she’s leading on, and vice versa,’ she told Palace Confidential.
‘I did find it a little strange that Meghan gave a speech at one of these events, I know it was a bit off the cuff, but you certainly wouldn’t see that in the Royal Family.
‘If it was someone’s baby, the partner would always let the other person take the lead and shine. Harry did see a little bit like a spare part on the stage there.’
Meanwhile, the Daily Mail’s Diary Editor Richard Eden said Meghan ‘was keen to show her support to Harry as his cheerleader really.’
Prince Harry turns 39 today and partied with Meghan in a traditional German bar last night where he washed down bratwurst sausage and wiener schnitzel with six beers, MailOnline can reveal.
Bar staff said the royals were ‘lovely’ and left a ‘big tip’ as they enjoyed plates piled high with red cabbage and mashed potato. While Harry celebrated with six half-pints, his wife stuck to just one small drink.
Diners at the Im Goldenen Kessel restaurant and bar were asked not to take pictures but said they saw him laughing and joking as the food arrived at his table. He also looked thrilled when a birthday cake arrived at the end of the meal.
He and Meghan happily posed for photographs with the owner of the restaurant Thea Ungermann and head waiter Frank Wackers who has worked at the restaurant for 38 years and happily shared images with MailOnline. Thea said: ‘He was a lovely man and was having a very jolly time. Meghan was lovely.’
Meghan stuck with the white skinny jeans she opted for to watch the sitting volleyball match yesterday. She paired it with a red and white pinstriped shirt and nude ballet pumps. Meanwhile Harry chose dark jeans and a grey top.
During his meal, Harry was presented with a birthday cake by staff at the restaurant, based in the old town of the city of Dusseldorf.
He and his party took up two tables and were served their food and beer by Mr Wackers, who has worked at the restaurant, which is part of the Schumacher brewery, for 38 years.
Mr Wackers told MailOnline Harry was served six small beers – about half a pint rather than the litre sized beers most German breweries serve.
He said Harry and his party were served Wiener Schnitzel, Pork knuckle, sausage and plates of roast and mashed potato.
Mr Wackers said: ‘They were very happy. He is a lovely man, and they were so nice.’
Staff at the restaurant said that Meghan had one small beer.
Diners largely left the party alone but were allowed to take photographs.
Mr Wackers joked that Harry’s bodyguard asked what was the beer like and when he told him was awful.
‘He said that he would kill me if the beer was bad, but I know he was joking.’
Aides and staff sang Happy Birthday as the restaurant presented Harry a white chocolate cake.
After tucking in, the party then walked back to their waiting cars along cobbled streets in the Old Town, or Altstadt area of the city.
The source close to the Prince said: ‘They drank local beer and ate family style dishes to experience a true German meal. Everyone was incredibly friendly, especially the waiters pictured in the photograph online.
‘They did not dine in a private space and were in joyful spirits, toasting and laughing with the team.
After dinner the group headed back to the hotel to sing happy birthday and eat cake just shy of midnight!’
The owner of the restaurant said Harry picked up the bill and left a big tip for the staff.
The restaurant is attached to the Schumacher brewery, one of two popular venues in the Dusseldorf.
The Wiener Schnitzel is one the menu for 30 euros while the Bratwurst is £14.50 a portion.
The restaurant does not have menus in English but fortunately staff, in particular owner Thea Ungermann, speaks fluent English. Her head waiter also speaks very good English and was able to take the Harry and Meghan orders down without need for translation into German.
Harry and his party had driven from their hotel in the Media Harbour of the city and were dropped off by a pedestrian area.
They walked the 50 yards to the restaurant past other bars before occupying two tables in a raised section of the restaurant which is next door to a McDonalds.
The party drank the locally brewed beer called Alt Schumacher which is also served at the Merkur Spiel-Arena where the Invictus Games are held.
Restaurant owner Thea said: ‘The couple were very relaxed, they drank our beer, Schumacher Alt – it’s the same beer they are serving at the Invictus Games.
‘Harry and Meghan sat next to each other during the meal. I had goosebumps when they walked into the restaurant, I had watched his speech on the stage at the Invictus Games and couldn’t believe he was in my restaurant. Prince Harry was so lovely and gave me a hug.’
The restaurant posted the group photo Harry and Meghan posing with staff on their social media.
Harry is thought to have had an early 39th party as he will be busy with events at the games on Friday.