Meghan just being good American! Sussex fans rally around Duchess after ‘service’ backlash

Meghan Markle introduces husband Prince Harry to stage

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The Duchess of Sussex caused controversy when she made a remark about service at the opening of the Invictus Games in The Netherlands. But admirers rushed to her defence after critics suggested it was a barbed comment towards the Royal Family.

Meghan told ex-military heroes at the Games set up by Prince Harry: “Thank you so much for your service and thank you to all the family and friends that are here who have been supporting you along the way.

“Because this is service, this is dedication and this is the In­victus family.”

It recalled the Queen saying the Sussexes would not “continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service” when they quit royal life.

Harry and Meghan shot back with their own statement, saying: “We can all live a life of service. Service is ­universal.”

Since Meghan’s comments, fans have rallied to the Duchess, with TudorChick1501, who describes themself as a Sussex Supporter, explaining: “In the US, it is EXTREMELY common to thank Veterans for their service whenever you see them.

“On any weekend, you can walk into a diner & see someone wearing a Veteran hat be thanked AT LEAST 5 times before leaving. Meghan Markle was just being a good American.”

Fellow Twitter user jackiejfrancois chimed in: “Wait, Meghan is not a working royal. She is an American and she did as [an] American does. WE THANK OUR VETERANS FOR THEIR SERVICE.”

And TatuTHIRD3 added: “I’m not American but even I know how common it is for people in America to thank veterans for their service! ‘Thank you for your service’ is a very common phrase!”

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Twitter user Asmatanngmailc1 asked: “Why are [Harry and Meghan] getting bashed when people should be talking about the vets’ participation in the games?

“Really can’t fathom how some people’s minds work these days!”

A fifth Twitter user, bereesiekat, commented: “I didn’t realise that they don’t thank veterans for their service in the UK! It is so common here in the US. How can you try and drag someone for thanking veterans?!?”

During her speech at the opening ceremony, Meghan paid tribute to the service and dedication of all those participating in this year’s games.

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She said: “One thing I know for sure is that every single moment it has taken to get here will be worth it, because it is here at the Invictus Games that we honour your years of active duty on the field and your continued service to your country, to your family and your community off the field.”

Harry paid tribute to the boundless humility, compassion and friendship of the Invictus Games, which continue until Friday.

He said: “I want to personally thank the people of The Netherlands for welcoming us with such warm Dutch hospitality.

“And thank you to the Dutch government, the Ministry of Defence and the Dutch royal family for their support in making this all happen after a two-year wait.”

Harry founded the Games to help the rehabilitation of injured or sick military personnel and veterans from around the world.

Ukraine has fielded a team at this year’s event with the head of the country’s government delegation, Inna Drahanchuk, admitting that attending had been a difficult decision for members.

She said: “They didn’t want to leave their friends, the Ukrainian soldiers, because most of our team members are in the battlefields in the east of Ukraine and other territories which were occupied by Russians, and they didn’t want to leave their positions.”

The Duke of Sussex said it was “extraordinary” to have a team from Ukraine at the Games.

Harry told BBC presenter Alex Jones: “The whole world is definitely behind them. But again, is that enough, you know?

“Because when you get to see them and speak to them, and see in their eyes, the experiences and the things that they’ve seen just in the last few weeks, it’s really hard.”

On their journey to the games, Harry said: “It’s emotional to think that they all jumped in the bus. Firstly, they have to make the decision to come, which was hard enough anyway, then they jumped on the coach, probably slept all the way.

“And I think what people need to remember, or perhaps don’t even know yet, is a vast majority of the Ukraine team were serving in some shape or form.

“So they removed their uniforms, put their team strips on, jumped on the coach, came over here, slept for a couple of days, tried to decompress and then were straight into it, and then they’ve got to go back, so I think to have them here is extraordinary.”

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