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Harry to carry out first royal duties since announcement

Prince Harry with former Leeds Rhino rugby league player Kevin Sinfield in 2017 Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Prince Harry, seen here with former Leeds Rhino player Kevin Sinfield, is the patron of the Rugby Football League

The Duke of Sussex is to carry out his first public engagement since he and wife Meghan announced they want to step back as full-time royals.

Prince Harry will host the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draw at Buckingham Palace.

He will meet representatives of the 21 nations taking part and local schoolchildren playing rugby.

Meghan and son Archie are in Canada but Harry will reportedly stay in the UK to attend meetings early next week.

Talks involving the Queen, Prince Harry, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge to discuss the couple’s future were held on Monday.

The Queen released a statement agreeing to their wish to step back as senior royals, become financially independent and to split their time between the UK and Canada.

The duchess flew to Canada to join her eight-month-old son Archie ahead of the meeting at the Queen’s Sandringham estate.

New pictures show her in Vancouver on Tuesday on a visit to Justice for Girls, which campaigns for teenage girls living in poverty,

The charity said the duchess visited to “discuss climate justice for girls and the rights of Indigenous peoples”.

Meghan was also photographed on the same day visiting the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre in Vancouver.

It posted a photograph on Facebook of the duchess with staff and visitors, saying they had talked about “issues affecting women in the community”.

It came as a legal document was submitted to the High Court in London by the Mail on Sunday, outlining its response to Meghan’s legal action over the publication of an article featuring extracts from a private letter to her father.

Invictus Games venue

Prince Harry’s official engagement at Buckingham Palace will see him host the Rugby League World Cup draws for the men’s, women’s and wheelchair tournaments.

Before the draw, the duke – the patron of the Rugby Football League since December 2016 – will watch children from a local school play rugby in the palace gardens.

The world cup tournament runs from October 23 to November 27 2021 in 17 cities across England, with 16 men’s, eight women’s and eight wheelchair teams taking part.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption The Duke of Sussex attended last year’s Rugby League Challenge Cup Final at Wembley

There has been speculation Prince Harry would travel to Canada after the Rugby League Cup draw but a source quoted by the Press Association said: “The duke has some meetings here early next week.”

On Wednesday evening, Prince Harry launched the next leg of his Invictus Games, for wounded and injured service personnel and veterans, with an Instagram video announcing the event will be held in Dusseldorf, Germany, in 2022.


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