The duchess of sussex showed her motherly side when she joined the British Invictus Games families in a book reading on Sunday, unseen photos show.
Meghan, 40, sat on the floor in a circle with 12 excited children at the private event, which was organized by the British Embassy in The Hague.
The mother of two told attendees that she wanted to appear because she missed her own children, Archie, two, and Lilibet, 10 months, who remained at their home in Montecito. Californiawhile Harry and Meghan traveled to the UK and the Netherlands.
Photographs released yesterday by the British embassy show Meghan holding a baby on her lap and speaking to an excited toddler who walks across the playmat towards her.
The Duchess, wearing a pinstripe blazer and £455 Manolo Blahnik heels, sat cross-legged on the floor with other parents and family members to listen to veteran James Stride read Donaldson’s Dairy children’s book Hairy Maclary, which revealed that it is one of the favorites at home. .
Hugs with Meghan! The Duchess of Sussex held a baby on her lap during the storytime session, which was hosted by the British Embassy in the Netherlands on Sunday. Meghan had spoken about the disappearance of children Archie, two, and Lilibet, 10 months.
Maternal Meghan: The Duchess of Sussex cooed over a toddler who was playing with a foam card at the event. The royals were joined by the families of the British competitors and their children to hear a reading from Donaldson’s Dairy’s Hairy Maclary.
Intent: The Duchess of Sussex leaned in to speak to a young boy who joined families at the Invictus Games event on Sunday
Arts and crafts! The Duchess also found time to show off her calligraphy, a skill she honed while working as an artist before landing her big break as an actress in the US legal drama Suits.
Story time with Meghan! The Duchess (pictured right) sat while Army veteran James Stride (pictured in seat) read Donaldson’s Dairy’s Hairy Maclary to a group of 12 children.
The photographs were shared on Twitter by the British embassy in The Hague, pictured here, which hosted the event.
The duchess also sat down at an arts and crafts table to show off her calligraphy, a skill she honed while working as an artist before landing her big acting break in the US legal drama Suits.
The private event was held in a tent in the Zuiderpark, where the Invictus Games take place, on the second day of the event.
“Meghan was quite chatty and told me that she missed her kids,” Stride said after the event. “She said that she wanted to be with children because she missed her own.”
The couple’s first trip to Europe is understood to be the longest they’ve been apart from their children, who stayed at the Sussexes’ £11million home in Montecito, California.
Meghan returned home on Monday, but Harry will remain at the Invictus Games, which he founded, until the end of the week.
James, 37, continued: ‘Meghan told me that she was familiar with the book and that she read it to her own children. She was very kind and the book was well known in her family.’
The royal was accompanied by her burly security guard, who kept an eye on the duchess as she gleefully posed for selfies with fans. Two other security guards also watched from a distance as Meghan was swamped with supporters.
She happily posed for two selfies of women who had waited until she left reading.
Meghan was expected to read excerpts from her own book ‘The Bench’ to a group of children of GB competitors.
Missing home: Meghan told a veteran at the event that she wanted to attend the reading because it meant she was surrounded by children, and was reminded of her own home in California In the image, the Sussexes in their 2021 Christmas card
But instead, the book was chosen by Stride, a 19-year veteran, as it was one of his favorites growing up.
After the reading, he handed a copy of the book to Meghan and confessed that he had cheekily signed his name inside and given it to her.
James, who served in the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers, said he had previously met Prince Harry in 2007 when they both served in Afghanistan.
He said: ‘I was a vehicle engineer and Harry came in with his vehicle. I met him, but I guess he doesn’t remember me.
James, who competes in rowing and weightlifting has the ‘I am Invictus’ logo tattooed on his leg, added: ‘I think they are both fantastic and do a lot to promote the games.’
Meeting her fans: After story hour, Meghan spent time posing for pictures with supporters, as seen above
It’s time for a selfie! The Duchess of Sussex posed with a fan after the private event at the Invictus Games on Sunday.
In an interview with people magazinethe duke of sussexThe 37-year-old revealed he ‘can’t wait’ to take his children to the Invictus Games in the future and that Archie, who turns three next month, wants to follow in his footsteps to become a helicopter pilot.
The royal added that he is a ‘proud dad’ and that little Archie loved the basketball and wheelchair rugby videos he showed him at the Invictus Games in Sydney in 2018.
“I showed him how some of them were missing their legs and explained that some also had invisible injuries,” he said. Not because he asked me, but because I wanted to tell him. Kids understand a lot, and seeing it through his eyes was amazing because he’s so honest and unfiltered.’
He added, “When I talk to my son Archie about what he wants to be when he grows up, some days he’s an astronaut, other days he’s a pilot, obviously a helicopter pilot, or Kwazii from Octonauts,” referring to a daredevil cat. of a children’s cartoon.
Royal cheerleaders: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex watching the sitting volleyball competition on Sunday, before the storytime event. Meghan has now returned to her children in California but Harry remains in the Netherlands
“But what I remind him of is that no matter what you want to be when you grow up, it’s your character that matters most, and nothing would make his mother and me more proud than to see him have the character that we see today.” .’
Speaking about the Invictus Games, where wounded, injured and ill men and women compete, he continued: “Being a father certainly adds another emotional layer.
‘When I was in the military, I made a promise to myself that I would be out before I had a wife and children, because I couldn’t imagine the pain of being apart for so long during deployment, the risk of possibly injuring myself, and the reality that the life of my family could change forever if that happened.
‘Every member of the Invictus community has experienced varying degrees of these things. I have tremendous respect for what they and their families sacrifice in the name of service.’
Reflecting on how things have changed since the Toronto Invictus Games, Prince Harry added: “Now, five years later, here we are in The Hague at the fifth Invictus Games, as parents of two children and living in the United States.”
“I’ve always wanted to share these amazing moments with someone special, and having Meg by my side means everything.”
His daughter, Lilibet, hasn’t met the Queen or Prince Charles, while little Archie hasn’t seen his paternal grandparents or great-grandparents since he was six months old.
Following a meeting at Windsor Castle last week, the Queen invited the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to attend the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June.
Harry and Meghan have reportedly told the Queen that she will be able to hug her great-grandchildren in “the near future”, sparking speculation that they may also bring their children.