Prince Harry traded off his former image as a booze-loving party boy Tuesday at an Invictus Games 2023 launch event in Düsseldorf, praising the city’s reputation as a brewery and saying he was looking forward to having a beer.
In remarks that could have been calculated to dispel a growing perception that the former wild man of the British royal family has become an abstemious puritan since moving to California, the prince said, “Before I go any further, there is something that I must ask, and something that I must know. I hear that the beer here is better than in Cologne. Is this true? Is this true? We’ll have to find out. On this hot day I couldn’t think of a better reason. I’m glad that’s settled.”
The remarks will serve to end speculation that Harry, who was renowned for a wild and boozy lifestyle in his late teens and twenties, gave up drinking after marrying Meghan.
Harry and Meghan were in the German city as part of an unofficial quasi-royal tour, which saw Meghan give a speech Monday night at the One Young World conference in Manchester, England. On Thursday, Harry is due to speak at the WellChild awards.
Düsseldorf is to host the 2023 Invictus Games, a paralympic-style event for wounded veterans established by Harry.
The London Times reported that as the couple went for a walkabout in Düsseldorf’s market square, “Some people called out ‘You are beautiful,’ to Meghan but occasional boos were heard.” The Times also quoted a comment by the leading German tabloid, Bild, which said their visit to Germany made a “nice change after the Sussexes usually attract attention with unsporting actions.”
Harry began his speech with a few words of German before wiping his brow in mock relief.
The couple’s charitable work has been largely overshadowed by a renewed focus on their feud with the royal family after Meghan said in an interview with The Cut they had to leave the royal family because, “just by existing, we were upsetting the dynamic of the hierarchy,” adding, “I can say anything.”
Meghan was derided after she claimed in that same interview that a Lion King cast member told her that her wedding to Harry had prompted the same sort of joy in South Africa as the 1990 release of Nelson Mandela after 27 years as a prisoner of the apartheid regime.