There's that one brief moment that does the trick to quash all reports of Harry and Meghan's marital crisis. The scene of this scene is the Jan-Wellem-Saal in Düsseldorf City Hall. This Tuesday afternoon, Harry and Meghan – who are only addressed here as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – are standing side by side and waiting for Harry to appear. And the amazing thing is: he seems to have stage fright.
The 37-year-old has a fairly ruddy complexion and keeps glancing at his speaking notes before it is his turn. The four years older Meghan in an unusual off-the-shoulder outfit, on the other hand, looks absolutely relaxed and relaxed. She gives the impression that she would like nothing better than to be here in the town hall of the state capital and carnival metropolis Düsseldorf am Rhein.
While Mayor Stephan Keller (CDU) recalls how the British founded the state of North Rhine-Westphalia after the war, Meghan always nods and smiles in the right places. And when he finally talks about the Ukraine war, she looks concerned. Harry, on the other hand, just stands there and seems to be thinking that he's about to give this speech. So both of them do almost nothing - and yet everyone is enthusiastic. You have to do that first.
things that are important to him
Then Harry steps up to the lectern. "Hello Düsseldorf. We, Meghan and I, are very happy to be here." He says that in German. Then he jokingly wipes his forehead. Heavy applause. He then routinely reads his speech in English. He talks about the things that are important to him: soldiers who risked their lives somewhere in a distant part of the world and returned home with serious injuries. He talks about encounters with them, which could be very intense. Encounters from which you take something with you. And he thanks the "incredible Düsseldorfers" and Germans in general for supporting this cause and wanting to host next year's Invictus Games 2023, the Paralympic sports festival he initiated.
In the end Harry goes back to his seat relieved. And then it happens: Meghan grabs his arm and beams at him proudly, says something to him, laughs. This is the scene that will banish any doubts about the happiness of both of them. Well, Meghan is an actress by trade and she was pretty good at it. But you just want to believe that in this moment she is completely herself.
Many viewers are a bit older
It has to be said that not exactly masses flocked to the market square. But it's a small amount. A lot of people here are older. When you see Harry, images may go through your mind: Princess Diana with the small bundle in her arm on the threshold of St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, London. His first day of school in shorts. And then, of course, the teenager in the suit behind his mother's coffin. The great happiness, the silent suffering - you were always there, even if only in front of the television.
But there are also youngsters here on the pitch. Young men and especially young women who may not be fans of British royalty at all but admire this couple. Because it has a message - which is also spread again and again. Meghan released a new episode of her Spotify podcast Archetypes this Tuesday. In it she comments on the fact that Harry deliberately countered the cliché of the "Prince Charming" who marries an overjoyed commoner. "You are all wrong," he said. "I'm the lucky one because you chose me."
After the reception in the town hall, a motorcade heads down to the Rhine and onto an excursion boat. Here Harry and Meghan speak to athletes, families and volunteers. The water of the Rhine glitters on this golden late summer day, as if the Rhine gold were shining from its depths. Dusseldorf is just lucky.
Questions are not welcome
There will be a press conference later in the Merkur Arena. Harry wants to talk about the Invictus Games again here, but you can't ask him questions afterwards. Because these questions would probably not revolve around the upcoming sporting event, but rather go in a different direction: What did the Queen say about her dynastic offspring, the great-grandchildren Archie and Lilibet? Is she still mad that Harry and Meghan gave the Windsor family the middle finger? And what does he still feel for Brother William, with whom he used to be so close but now lives at odds? If you want answers, you'll probably have to wait until Harry's memoirs come out later this year. Dusseldorf is just too unlikely a place to shake the British monarchy.