The initial photos of the 2023 Invictus Games in Dusseldorf, Germany, have been released today, as the Duke of Sussex meets with the international group of volunteer categorisers.

Prince Harry, 38 – frontman and creator of the of the annual Paralympics-style competition – stepped out earlier this morning as the sixth instalment of the special event kicked off.

The Duke, who previously served in the British Army, developed the games for veterans and service personnel over a decade ago, with the first taking place in 2014.

After arriving in Germany on Friday, Harry – who earlier this week visited Windsor Castle to pay his respects to his late grandmother the Queen – met with athletes and volunteers this morning ahead of the opening ceremony later today.

Papped wearing a simple black polo bearing the Invictus Games logo, Harry posed happily alongside the group of volunteers, which was later shared on the games' official Twitter account.

"The Duke of Sussex dropped in this morning to meet with our international group of volunteer categorisers!" the snap was captioned.

"This group, led by @weareinvictus, conduct all assessments of the competitors at the #InvictusGames to facilitate fair competition in recovery."

Founder of CampaignForce, Johnny Ball also shared the candid photo of Prince Harry on social media.

"With the main man himself. Without this guy, our relationship with how we view our veterans would be all the worse. Thank you for giving us the Invictus Games. Thank you for helping me find me again. Thank you," Johnny captioned the snap.

The opening ceremony set for later on today will feature a performance by rapper Macklemore, before Prince Harry takes to the stage to make a speech welcoming the 500 athletes from 21 countries that will compete in 10 sports.

The photos come just days after the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle was seemingly left out the media schedule for this weekend's games, despite reports that the mum-of-two, 42, would be joining her husband on stage for the closing ceremony on 16 September.

The Daily Mail reported at the time that Meghan's name has vanished from the Invictus Games website's listing, with German TV host Hadnet Tesfai instead identified as presenting a segment about some of the competitors' stories.

The publication's sources suggested that the now-deleted original entry was an administrative error, and that Meghan is still due to make appearances at the games alongside Harry.

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