Harry meets king of Netherlands after enjoying pint with friends in Irish pub

The Invictus Games closing ceremony will take place on Friday night.

Catherine Wylie
Friday 22 April 2022 17:56
The Duke of Sussex with King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands at the wheelchair basketball final (PA)
The Duke of Sussex with King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands at the wheelchair basketball final (PA)

The Duke of Sussex has met with the king of the Netherlands after enjoying a pint of Guinness in an Irish pub in The Hague.

Harry greeted King Willem‑Alexander at the Invictus Games on Friday and the pair watched the wheelchair basketball final between USA and the Netherlands – with the Americans going on to clinch a convincing win.

It was the final day of competition at the event, which began in Zuiderpark last weekend.

Harry enjoyed a quiet drink with friends on Thursday night at O’Casey’s Irish Pub in the city.

Pub owner John Gulay, 51, said Harry had a single pint of Guinness before switching to lemonade.

“He loves Guinness,” Mr Gulay told the PA news agency, adding: “He loves the Guinness, of course, who doesn’t?”

According to Mr Gulay, Harry said “One pint, that’s it” and “I stick to one pint and then I’ll move to lemonade”.

Mr Gulay said Harry was offered tequila shots but turned them down, and suggested they instead be given to other people in the pub.

The Duke of Sussex in O’Casey’s Irish Pub in The Hague with owner John Gulay (handout/PA)

Harry was in the pub for about an hour-and-a-half before leaving to go for dinner elsewhere, he said.

Mr Gulay said he did not send a bill to Harry’s table.

“I said ‘Do you know what? This bar bill is mine. I’m so honoured to have you over’,” he said.

“They offered to pay, but I said I’m really happy that you guys were here and the Invictus Games were so good for the pub this week,” he said.

Harry, who was part of a group of about a dozen sitting in the pub’s beer garden, was a “really nice guy”, Mr Gulay said.

The Duke of Sussex presents the final medals of the games (Aaron Chown/PA)

O’Casey’s was named “the best Irish pub in the world” in 2019, according to its website.

On Friday afternoon, the duke welcomed Willem-Alexander to experience one of the final events at the games.

The pair laughed and chatted and waved their arms in the air with the rest of the packed crowd in the build-up to the wheelchair basketball match.

Harry, dressed in navy, handed out the final medals of the games when he presented the Americans with their golds.

Earlier, Harry announced the Invictus Games will take place in Vancouver and Whistler, Canada, in 2025.

“Ladies and gentlemen, Invictus is heading back to North America and this is a very, very good thing,” Harry said.

The Duke of Sussex shakes hands with King Willem-Alexander (Aaron Chown/PA)

Speaking at the announcement event, Harry added: “With recovery and rehabilitation of the international service community at its heart, I’m proud to say that the Invictus Games has cemented itself as the premier place for world class teams to come together in world class venues.

“As Invictus continues to adapt and evolve, I’m thrilled to announce that the Invictus Games Foundation has selected Canada to host the first ever winter hybrid games in 2025.

“And will be featuring brand new sports as always, the Invictus Games Vancouver Whistler 2025 will offer a global platform to expand the range and profile of winter adaptive sports.

“With deep respect, I’m also pleased to share that the games in Canada will be held in partnership with the First Nations, in the spirit of truth and reconciliation with indigenous communities.”

The duke founded the Invictus Games to aid the rehabilitation of injured and sick military personnel and veterans across the globe, by giving them the challenge of competing in sporting events similar to the Paralympics.

The Invictus Games closing ceremony will take place in The Hague on Friday night.

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