Back in 2014, Prince Harry helped to establish the Invictus Games, an annual athletic competition for wounded or otherwise ailing combat veterans.

This week, the event got underway in Dusseldorf, and Harry was of course on hand for the opening ceremonies.

But to the surprise of many, the duke’s wife, Meghan Markle, was not by his side.

Reports of Meghan and Harry “distancing themselves” from one another professionally have created quite a stir in recent weeks.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend the 2020 UN Nelson Mandela Prize award ceremony at the United Nations in New York on July 18, 2022. (Getty)

Throughout 2023, the duke and duchess have been appearing in in public separately far more often than they used to.

Insiders say this is part of an intentional effort to establish themselves as separate entities, rather than a perennial package deal.

And the campaign is not limited to separate photo ops.

Prince Harry whispers to Meghan Markle as they watch a dance performance by Jukebox Collective in the banqueting hall during a visit to Cardiff Castle on January 18, 2018 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Earlier this year, Meghan signed to the vaunted WME talent agency without Harry, and the duchess did not receive a producer credit on Harry’s recent Netflix doc about the Invictus Games.

Still, much is being made of the fact that Harry was unaccompanied during his first appearance at his signature event.

However, it seems that Meghan was not far from his mind.

Life in the U.S. has not exactly been all peaches and cream for Harry and Meghan. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

During one appearance in Dusseldorf, Harry joked that Meghan has gotten “a little more competitive” in recent weeks due to new revelations about her ancestry.

“Now, I’m not saying we play favorites in our home, but since my wife discovered she’s of Nigerian descent, it’s likely to get a little bit more competitive this year,” he said to laughter and applause.

Onlookers say there was some confusion among attendees who were unaware that Meghan recently found out that she’s of Nigerian descent.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry looking swaggy at the Invictus Games. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

And of course, many are still making a big to-do out of the fact that the duke and duchess have spent quite a bit of time on separate continents this year.

Harry was also unaccompanied when he returned to London earlier this week to attend the annual WellChild Awards.

Witnesses say Harry briefly addressed Meghan’s absence during conversations with the evening’s honorees, saying that Meghan was “very upset that she couldn’t be here” before their “busy week.”

And what does Meghan’s busy week consist of?

Well, according to a new report from People magazine the duchess lived her best life by making a trip to In-N-Out Burger.

Meghan Markle talks to members of the public as she arrives to Edinburgh Castle with Prince Harry on February 13, 2018 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo Credit: Instagram)

In a recent interview, Meg explained that even though the nearest location is quite a distance from the Sussexes’ home in Montecito, the famed LA burger chain is still a family favorite.

“We’re commuters. We drove down recently for a day of back-to-back meetings, equipped with chocolate chip cookies the size of my toddler’s head,” she explained.

“Also, my husband’s favorite is In-N-Out. There’s one at the halfway point between LA and our neck of the woods. It’s really fun to go through the drive-thru and surprise them. They know our order.”

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry attend the 2022 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Gala at New York Hilton in New York City. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

And now, Meghan has been busted making an In-N-Out run without Harry!

We’re sure he’ll find it in his heart to forgive her — especially if she brings him a couple of double-doubles when she arrives in Dusseldorf later this week!

Read More: World News | Entertainment News | Celeb News
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