Prince Harry attended the inauguration ceremony.
Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan arrived on Finnish time Tuesday morning to watch the NHL match between the Vancouver Canucks and San Jose Sharks.
Harry dropped the opening puck of the match in his surprise appearance, which was not announced in advance.
Harry held the puck in his hand for so long that Tomas Hertl, who was leaning on the Sharks’ debut, said something to him, after which the prince dropped the puck. When the job was done, Harry dramatically wiped the sweat from his forehead: All went well.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were later picked up during the opening set on the video board at the Canucks’ home arena, looking happy and laughing in their VIP box.
The Invictus Games, a sporting event for war veterans and service-injured soldiers, founded by Harry, will take place in Vancouver and Whistler in 2025.
Tomas Hertel and Quinn Hughes crouch down for the ceremonial starting puck. Photo: Darryl Dyke/Zuma
Harry’s mother, the late Queen Elizabeth, also once attended the opening ceremony of a match between the Canucks and Sharks. Elisabeth dropped the opening puck on October 6, 2002, when the teams met at the same location. A photo of the situation has been immortalized in a prominent place in the Rogers Arena press room.
The match is 2-0 after the second period.
The only Finnish player on the ice is the Sharks’ Mikael Granlund, who injured himself on a high shot from his own team’s defender Jan Ruta in the opening set. However, Granlund was able to continue the match.