Just hours after being brutally told via the media they were not welcome at the royal Christmas celebrations in England, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were mainly smiles as they attended an NHL game in Canada.
Harry did the puck drop to start the face-off between the Vancouver Canucks and the San Jose Sharks, although Sharks captain Tomas Hertl had to tell him to get on with it after Harry spent too long smiling for the cameras.
Hertl told SJ Hockey Now: “I actually had to tell him because he’s holding it and smiling. I said, ‘It’s time to drop it.’”
Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet told The Athletic NHL he also interacted with Harry, saying: “I gave him a fist bump, I don’t know if you’re allowed to do that. I did it, he did it. He kind of looked at me but he did it.”
Rogers Arena will be one of the key venues for the 2025 edition of the Invictus Games, the Paralympic-style event for wounded veterans Harry helped establish.
Queen Elizabeth II dropped the opening puck at a Vancouver Canucks game in 2002.
The Canucks beat the Sharks 3-1 on Monday night.
The couple were supporting Vancouver, dancing together in celebration when the team won the game.
They were accompanied by their friend Markus Anderson, the Soho House executive credited with organizing their first date.
The trip will fuel speculation that the couple want to return to the limelight, coming just days after Meghan made a star turn last week at the Variety Power of Women event in Los Angeles where she teased, “We have so many exciting things on the slate... I can’t wait until we can announce them, but I’m just really proud of what we’re creating. My husband is loving it too which is really fun.”