Prince Harry Drops Ceremonial Puck Like Queen Elizabeth

Prince Harry followed in his grandmother Queen Elizabeth’s royal footsteps on Monday night as he dropped the puck in a Vancouver Canucks hockey game against the San Jose Sharks.


It was 21 years ago that the Queen, who died in Sept. 2022, made her own ceremonial puck drop at a Canucks and Sharks game in Vancouver. The National Hockey League rolled out the red carpet for the monarch during her visit on Oct. 6, 2002, which was part of her 11-day tour of Canada in honor of her Golden Jubilee.


Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky was on hand to present the Queen with the ceremonial puck. The crowd erupted into cheers as the Queen, who carried her trusty black purse onto the ice, dropped the puck. She then made her way to the royal box to enjoy the first period of the game.


Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle’s visit to Canada is in honor of the next Invictus Games, which will be held in Vancouver and Whistler in 2025. Harry, a former captain in the British Army, founded the international adaptive sports tournament for wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans in 2014.



Following cycles in London (2014), Orlando (2016), Toronto (2017), Sydney (2018), the Netherlands (2022) and Germany (2023), the competition in Canada in 2025 will be the first time the Invictus Games have returned to a previous host country.


“As Invictus continues to adapt and evolve, I am extremely excited to announce that the Invictus Games Foundation has selected Canada to host the first-ever Winter Hybrid Games in 2025,” Prince Harry said in a statement around the news. 


Queen Elizabeth receives the ceremonial puck presented to her by former Edmonton Oilers and general manager of the men’s Olympic hockey team Wayne Gretzky on October 6, 2002, in Vancouver, Canada.

KIM STALLKNECHT/AFP via Getty





“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,” he added of the plans.


Queen Elizabeth receives the ceremonial puck presented to her by former Edmonton Oilers and general manager of the men’s Olympic hockey team Wayne Gretzky on October 6, 2002, in Vancouver, Canada.

KIM STALLKNECHT/AFP via Getty



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Canada is a special place for Meghan, 42, and Harry, 39, and the Invictus Games marked an important moment early in their relationship. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex famously made their debut as a couple at the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto, where Meghan lived while filming Suits (which she said is “wild” to see trending on Netflix at Variety’s Power of Women gala last week). 


Not only are Vancouver and Whistler close to Harry and Meghan following their move to Montecito, California, but Vancouver is also a special spot for their family. Before stepping back from their royal roles in 2020, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex spent their first holiday season as a family of three in 2019 with son Prince Archie on Vancouver Island.

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