PRINCE Harry has compared himself to US President JFK and tried to speak German as he opens the Invictus Games without Meghan Markle.
As the 38-year-old Duke of Sussex took the stage in Düsseldorf, he reinterpreted President Kennedy’s famous speech in West Berlin in 1963 during the Cold War, when he said: “I am a Berliner.”
Instead, Harry told the packed audience “I am a Düsseldorfer,” referring to the host city.
The Duke flew to the Invictus Games without his wife Meghan Markle, who is due to arrive tomorrow.
And during his 10-minute speech, Harry mentioned his wife only once, when he acknowledged her claim that she is of Nigerian descent.
Last year, Meg was mocked after she claimed on her Spotify podcast that she had taken a genealogy test that revealed she was 43 percent Nigerian.
Harry’s comparison to the assassinated President Kennedy comes as feuding brother Prince William used a famous JFK “moonshot” speech about sending a man to the moon to make his £50m Earthshot Prize to Inspire Saving the Planet.
Harry looked emotional and close to tears on stage after receiving a 60-second standing ovation with chants of “Harry, Harry.”
He opened his speech with a few words in German and thanked Düsseldorf for hosting the games.
Since the final Games in The Hague, Netherlands, in 2022, Harry has released his tell-all memoir “Spare” and the six-part Netflix series, and attended the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II and the coronation of his father, King Charles.
Harry told the crowd: “I don’t know about you, but the last year went very quickly, I’m a Düsseldorfer.”
“We went from stroopwafels to schnitzels in no time.”
Last October, Meghan revealed that she discovered she was 43 percent Nigerian after taking a genealogy test “a few years ago.”
She made the surprising revelation in an episode of her now-defunct Archetypes podcast on Spotify.
Harry told the audience, which included 500 participants from 21 nations who marched into the Merkur Spiel Arena for the opening ceremony, that Nigeria had sent a team for the first time.
He said: “I’m not saying we’re favorites at home – but as my wife has found out she’s of Nigerian descent, it’ll probably be a bit more competitive this year.”
The prince added: “Remember that you are not just watching and exercising, but also experiencing the magic of the human spirit and learning first-hand from those who are not bound to their journey, but liberated from it.”
The games, which also include a Ukrainian team, offer armed forces veterans the opportunity to compete in sports such as wheelchair rugby and swimming.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz gave a recorded statement.
The mayor of Düsseldorf, Dr. Stephen Keller said: “Dear Duke, your impact on ministries and their communities is underestimated.”
“We owe you a great debt of gratitude.”
After the opening ceremony, Prince Harry grabbed a helicopter and flew 135 miles to appear on the German version of “Match of the Day” to promote the Invictus Games.
Last night he was a guest on the late night football show “Das aktuell Sportstudio” on ZDF in Mainz.
Earlier, Harry arrived at Düsseldorf City Hall to cheers and jeers, where he was joined by Invictus dignitaries.
A dozen demonstrators protested against the holding of the games in front of the town hall.
They claim that the Bundeswehr is exploiting Harry’s games to recruit young students for the armed forces.
A 68-year-old man from Düsseldorf, who refused to give his name, waved a homemade poster that read “Bomber Harry.”
The Duke of Sussex completed two tours in Afghanistan and revealed in his memoir Spare that he killed 25 Taliban fighters.
The protester said he compared Harry to World War II commander Arthur “Bomber” Harris, who was head of Bomber Command.
He said: “Afghanistan should be celebrated. That’s pretty cynical. Harry is just a puppet. He is a member of the British establishment.”
One protester even shouted “murderer” as the prince walked across the Invictus Games carpet.
Representatives of the 21 nations participating in the Invictus Games waited at the town hall for his arrival.
Harry, 38, is staying in a hotel in Düsseldorf for 1,600 euros per night for his week-long games.
He held a private vigil at Queen Elizabeth II’s final resting place in St George’s Chapel on Friday morning – marking the 12-month anniversary since her death.
The chapel opened its doors early for Harry so he could enter for private reflection before tourists arrived at 10 a.m.
Harry had been banned by the royal family from all private and public memorial services for the late queen.
Meghan Markle, 42, stayed in Montecito as Harry flew back on Thursday to pay tribute to his grandmother and attend a charity gala.
She is expected to arrive in Düsseldorf tomorrow to accompany Harry at the Invictus Games.