While attending the sixth edition of the Invictus Games in Germany on Sept. 15, Prince Harry celebrated his 39th trip around the sun with his wife Meghan Markle by his side. As royal spectators may have noticed, senior members of the British monarchy didn’t share any social media tributes to mark the Duke of Sussex’s birthday this year — and there’s a reason why.
As PEOPLE notes, Prince Harry’s birthday has in the past been celebrated online by the official Royal Family and Kensington Palace social media accounts. However, following King Charles III’s ascension to the throne in late 2022, only working members of the royal family, and some of their children, have been granted birthday tributes online. Given Prince Harry and Meghan’s decision to step away from royal duties in early 2020, this no longer includes them.
As mentioned, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex opted to spend Harry’s birthday in Düsseldorf, Germany, where they attended the 2023 Invictus Games — an annual international sports competition for wounded, injured, and sick servicemen and women.
Although the Duke’s birthday wasn’t marked by the royal family’s social media accounts, a crowd of Invictus Games spectators sang an impromptu rendition of “Happy Birthday” to Harry during a volleyball game.
Event organizers also sent Harry birthday messages online, including the official Invictus Games account. “From all of us at the @InvictusGamesDE, a heartfelt HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the founder and patron of @WeAreInvictus, Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex. You've given hope, inspired millions, and never stop putting a smile on people's faces,” the tribute read.
Meanwhile, after touching down in the German city on Sept. 12, the Duchess of Sussex gave a speech at the Invictus Games Family & Friends party alongside her husband, during which she made a rare comment about the pair’s two young children, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.