On the same day that Kate Middleton visited the 1st the Queen’s Dragoon Guards (QDG) in Norfolk as its new Colonel-in-Chief, Harry and Meghan travelled to a Marine Corps base across the pond.
On Wednesday (8 November), the Duke and Duchess of Sussex met the families of US military veterans and active-duty service members during a visit to Camp Pendleton in San Diego, California.
For the occasion, the former Suits star picked a navy blue Carolina Herrera cardigan adorned with embroidered poppies, with the bright red flower being a universally recognised symbol of Remembrance.
For their second event in San Diego, later the same evening, the duchess swapped the sweater for an all-black Giorgio Armani suit and pinned a Royal British Legion poppy brooch to the label of her jacket. Prince Harry wore a matching pin, as the couple joined the Navy SEAL Foundation for the inauguration of a new training facility for veterans.
Harry and Meghan watched and clapped as the foundation’s chief executive Robin King cut the red ribbon outside the new Warrior Fitness Programme facility with a pair of big golden scissors.
The 20,000-square-foot centre aims to help servicemen and women and veterans, with their families, transition to daily life mentally and physically after combat service.
Harry, who served on the front line in Afghanistan, launched the Invictus Games - a Paralympics-style tournament for wounded and sick veterans – in September 2014; the couple attended the tournament’s ninth edition in Düsseldorf, Germany earlier this year.
Their visit to California comes days after the Sussexes rejected claims Harry had turned down an invitation to his father, King Charles’s 75th birthday party on 14 November. Charles is said to be celebrating the milestone birthday with a gathering for close family and friends at Clarence House.
After it was reported that Harry and Meghan had snubbed an invite to the soiree from the King, opting to stay in California instead, a spokesperson for the couple told The Independent that there had been “no contact regarding an invitation” from Buckingham Palace.
The palace did not respond to requests for comment at the time.
“In response to UK media headlines, there has been no contact regarding an invitation to His Majesty’s upcoming birthday,” they said, adding that any reports which suggested otherwise were “disappointing”.
Harry was stripped of his military patronages by the late Queen after he and Meghan stepped down as senior members of the royal family in 2020. The same year, it was reported that Harry’s request for a wreath to be laid at the Cenotaph on his behalf had been refused.
Instead, the duke and duchess visited the Los Angeles National Cemetery to mark Remembrance Day, as they left flowers on the gravesites of two commonwealth soldiers.