Around 100 million people in the United States tuned in last night to watch the Los Angeles Rams defeat the Cincinnati Bengals at the Super Bowl LVI. Thousands more had the chance to watch the historic game in person at the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. In the stands were a slew of famous faces, including singer Justin Bieber, television host Ellen DeGeneres and Hollywood stars Charlize Theron, Sean Penn and Mark Wahlberg.
But one person particularly stood out despite his attempt to be discreet: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex. The youngest child of Charles, Prince of Wales and Princess Diana, and grandson of Queen Elizabeth II was spotted in a private box at the stadium. It was his first public appearance since November when he attended a gala in New York, and also the first since he and his wife, Meghan Markle, were stripped of their honorary military appointments and royal patronages earlier this month. In images captured by the stadium’s television cameras, the Duke of Sussex was seen dressed in a dark jacket and a white shirt, and wearing a face mask at all times, even though most spectators were not using one.
Prince Harry did not go to the event with Meghan Markle, but rather with his cousin and good friend, Princess Eugenie, the youngest child of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson. Harry has been living in California for two years and is a big sports fan, but this was the first time he had attended the Super Bowl.
Prince Harry and Princess Eugenie have a close relationship. He is five and a half years older than her, but because their mothers were very good friends, they spent a lot of time together when they were children and have remained close ever since. Interestingly, Megan Markle also knew Princess Eugenie before meeting Prince Harry. In her sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey last year, the Duchess of Sussex revealed: “Eugenie and I had known each other before I had known Harry, so that was comfortable.”
When Markle and Prince Harry first started dating, Princess Eugenie and her now-husband Jack Brooksbank also traveled to Toronto, with Harry in tow, to see Markle, who was filming the final episodes of the TV series Suits. As a show of courtesy, when Princess Eugenie got married in October 2019, Markle was already visibly pregnant but the couple waited three days after the wedding to announce the news. What’s more, after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex moved to the United States, the princess and Brooksbank went to live in Frogmore Cottage in England, which had been renovated by Prince Harry and Markle, although the couple spent little time in the home before moving to the US.
Princess Eugenie is the first member of the British royal family – as far as anyone knows – to fly to the US to visit the couple and meet their second daughter, Lilibet, who was born last June. When the child was born, Princess Eugenie wrote a loving message to the new parents, describing them as her “dear cousins” on Instagram.
Although this was the first time that Prince Harry had attended a Super Bowl match, it was not his first time in SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, which is just an hour and a half southeast from his home in Montecito, California. In May 2021, he took part in the global event VAX Live: The concert to reunite the world, which was also held at the stadium. The event, aimed at encouraging Covid-19 vaccination, was also attended by US President and First Lady Joe and Jill Biden, as well as celebrities such as Ben Affleck, David Letterman, Jennifer López and Sean Penn.