Prince Harry gives speech at Invictus Games 2023
The Sussexes mark a big day today as Prince Harry turns 39. The Duke will celebrate the big day with his wife Meghan Markle in western Germany.
However, the royal father-of-two is not celebrating his last 30-something birthday on holiday. Instead, Harry will be attending the Invictus Games in Dusseldorf as the closing ceremony is set to take place tomorrow.
While the Duke of Sussex will spend the day with his wife and enjoying the brilliant sporting event, which he founded nearly a decade ago, the royal will unfortunately be spending his special day without his children for the second year in a row as last year little Lilibet and Archie remained across the pond while the royals mourned the loss of the late Queen Elizabeth.
Set to be a happier event this year, royal fans have questioned whether the Firm will mark the special day.
His family have only failed to publicly mark his birthday once before – will they this year? Express.co.uk takes a look at what we can expect today.
Has the Royal Family marked Harry’s birthday since Megxit?
Both in 2020 and 2021 the Royal Family marked Harry’s birthday on the Royal Family’s official X page, formally known as Twitter.
Not only did the Duke receive wishes from the joint Firm’s account, but he also received more personal greetings online from the then Prince Charles and Camilla as well as Prince William and Kate.
Three years ago, the Royal Family wished Harry a “very happy birthday” and shared a snap of the Duke beaming at the late Queen Elizabeth from a reception held at Buckingham Palace in 2017.
Just one year later, the Firm shared four snaps of the royal, including one with Meghan by his side.
Did the Royal Family send Harry public well wishes last year?
Last year the Royal Family was rocked with the devastating loss of the late Queen Elizabeth II on September 8.
This was swiftly followed by a period of national mourning which spanned from September 8 until the State Funeral on September 19.
Harry’s birthday ultimately fell during the mourning period and on September 15, when the Duke turned 38, the Royal Family shared snaps of members of the Firm greeting mourners in Sandringham, Manchester and Glasgow as well as a link for people to post messages of condolence to the beloved late monarch and arrangements for the State Funeral.
While the Royal Family did not publicly mark the Duke’s birthday, he was in the UK and it is possible he saw his family on the special day.
Did the Royal Family mark Meghan’s birthday this year?
While the mother-of-two celebrated her 42nd birthday back in August, no senior members of the Royal Family acknowledged the big day, which was seen as “the most British snub you could imagine”, a PR expert claimed.
The former actress celebrated her birthday on August 2 in Montecito, California, but the Firm who generally celebrate with a post at 9am on the dot, failed to publicly send the Duchess greetings.
Andy Barr from 10Yetis told The Mirror US: “Sometimes the most powerful message you can send is when you say absolutely nothing.”
He added: “I am sure that there will have been communications behind the scenes to wish her a happy birthday but the social media silence is the most British snub you could imagine.”
Will Harry be sent public birthday messages this year?
While the Royal Family has marked the Duke’s birthday post-Megxit, it appears that the Firm has altered the rules for birthday posts as only senior working members have been celebrated.
The Sussexes are not the only royals being left out as Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie as well as the Tindalls did not receive a birthday message from the Royal Family.
This may be a part of King Charles’s push for a “slimmed down” monarchy as reports claim the monarch hopes to reduce the monarchy to a team of just seven key members, all senior working royals.
There could be several reasons for this push, with the two main factors believed to be the royals’ reputation and financial concerns.
How will Harry spend his birthday this year?
The Duke and Duchess are currently in Dusseldorf, Germany, attending this year’s Invictus Games. Today Harry will be able to enjoy Cycling, Archery, Table Tennis and Sitting Volleyball with the games kicking off at 7:30am local time.
The global sporting event is no doubt very special to the Duke as he founded it back in 2014 and produced the ‘Heart of Invictus’ documentary with Netflix following ex-military who competed in last year’s games.
While it is believed that Harry’s birthday is shrouded with the sad memory of his mothers death as it is just over two weeks after the anniversary of the tragic event on August 31, it has been reported that Meghan has planned a “significant and meaningful” gift for the special day.
Speaking exclusively to OK! royal expert Tessa Dunlop said: “The couple always do a bit of gift-giving with meaning, one year it was just a picture of Archie. But I suspect there will be a couple of significant gifts that we get a glimpse at, at some point.
“Harry has always lavished Meghan with gifts, a piece of jewellery that often got too much attention and he gave her Diana’s Cartier bracelet one year.”
The writer added: “It’s always very difficult for Harry and his birthday as it comes so quickly after his mother’s death on August 31.”
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