TORONTO – Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, along with Prince Harry of the United Kingdom and Melania Trump, the first lady of the United States, joined on Saturday the opening of the Invictus Games for military veterans with disabilities or injuries in Toronto.
The eight-day event, established in 2014 by Prince Harry, includes over 550 injured soldiers and veterans from 17 countries competing in 12 adaptive sports.
Melania Trump’s presence in Toronto was the first solo trip abroad for President Donald Trump’s wife.
Prior to the official opening of the third edition of the Invictus Games, Melania Trump met for the first time with Prince Harry; they shook hands and posed for the media during their meeting.
In front of the cameras, Prince Harry commented on the “tight” schedule the first lady is having, while she praised “the fantastic work” being done by the Prince.
America’s first lady invited Prince Harry to visit the White House at any time.
Melania Trump also met with Trudeau, his wife, Sophie-Gregoire, and their three children shortly before the opening ceremony of the Invictus Games.
Afterwards, Melania Trump held a reception with the approximately 100 US competitors participating where she said “On behalf of my husband and our entire country, I want to thank you and your families for all you have sacrificed to keep us safe.”
The opening ceremony of the Toronto Invictus Games also saw Prince Harry meet with his girlfriend, American actress Meghan Markle.
Markle, who resides in Toronto, attended the opening ceremony but did not sit with Prince Harris.
The American actress witnessed the opening ceremony sitting several rows behind, while Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and his wife Maryna; the Trudeau couple, Melania Trump, Prince Harry and Governor General of Canada David Johnston, and his wife Sharon sat together in the VIP area.
The Canadian Prime Minister declared that “The Invictus Games are a unique and powerful way to honor those who have sacrificed so much on behalf of their country.”
“They represent the best and deserve our gratitude forever. Over the next eight days, the Invictus Games will put the spotlight on the strength and resilience that characterized their service. Sophie and I wish every competitor the best of luck,” Trudeau added.
The 2017 Invictus Games will conclude on Sept. 30.