Driving time: Harry and Meghan ride in miniature Land Rovers

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Competition at the Invictus Games began with a driving challenge around an automotive obstacle course before an evening opening ceremony attended by games founder Prince Harry and his wife Meghan

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Competition at the Invictus Games kicked off on Saturday with a driving challenge around an automotive obstacle course before an evening opening ceremony attended by the games’ founder, Prince Harry, and his wife Meghan.

Harry founded the Invictus Games to help rehabilitate injured or ill service members and veterans, challenging them to compete in sporting events similar to the Paralympic Games. This year’s competition takes place in the Dutch city of The Hague.

Before the opening ceremony, he got close to the action when he was driven around the obstacle course. The couple later waved to onlookers as they were driven around in miniature Land Rover cars with children behind the wheel.

On Friday, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, as Harry and Meghan are also known, attended a welcome event for contestants, their friends and family, joining them at the event which runs until April 22 .

It was the couple’s first public appearance in Europe since they gave up their official royal roles and moved to the United States more than two years ago.

Among the nearly 500 competitors from 20 nations taking part in the games is a team of 19 Ukrainians – many of whom are taking a brief break from defending their country against the Russian invasion that has sparked a devastating war.

Competitors will compete in athletics, archery, cycling, indoor rowing, powerlifting, sitting volleyball, swimming, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby rolling, as well as the Saturday driving challenge organized by one of the official partners of the event, the car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover.

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