It’s been a tumultuous few weeks for Prince Harry since he and his wife Meghan Markle announced that they would be stepping back as senior members of the royal family. But the Prince’s spirits seemed high at his first solo outing since the bombshell news, when he hosted the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draws for the men’s, women’s, and wheelchair tournaments.
The Duke of Sussex greets young players at the palace. pic.twitter.com/04NWP59kWb
— Richard Palmer (@RoyalReporter) January 16, 2020
The 35-year-old Prince also seemed to have a good sense of humor about the ongoing process of exiting the royal family. Prince Harry greeted fans and press outside Buckingham palace before the event, where a reporter attempted to get a peek behind the royal curtain from the Prince with the question, “How are the discussions going on your future?”
Of course, the Prince didn’t answer, but he also didn’t seem to mind the question! Reports said that Harry simply laughed off the query, and he appeared to thoroughly enjoy what could be his last public royal engagement for some time—while he is set to appear in meetings next week, it is unclear what those meetings will entail.
Prince Harry had another lighthearted moment when he met with young representatives from the 21 nations taking part in the tournament. As he posed for photos with the players he jokingly told them, “Look after the grass though yeah? Otherwise I’ll get in trouble.”
Harry took over as the patron of the Rugby Football League in 2016, succeeding his grandmother Queen Elizabeth, who held the title for 64 years.
🏉 From 12:00 GMT, HRH, The Duke of Sussex will host the Rugby League World Cup 2021 Draw live from Buckingham Palace. Tune in to watch the draws for the men’s, women’s and wheelchair #RLWC2021 tournaments. #RLWC2021Draw @royalfamily https://t.co/vhTuiywWF0
— Rugby League World Cup 2021 (@RLWC2021) January 16, 2020
After Prince Harry met with the rugby representatives, the draws were streamed live across the Royal Family’s social media accounts. Prince Harry has long been a champion of sports and community engagement. In addition to taking over the helm as the patron of the Rugby Football League, Harry started the Invictus Games so that wounded armed service members or veterans can take part in any of nine sports, including basketball, volleyball, and indoor rowing.
The Prince spoke about how important sports are to him while at the rugby event. “I think, from my perspective, certainly the experience that I’ve had in my younger years but also through Invictus, and all of the sporting events that I’m lucky enough to be able to go to or watch, the impact that it has, especially on young people, but the impact it has on the individuals playing with the community as a whole is remarkable.”
Harry also made an announcement regarding the 2022 Invictus Games with a video shared to the Sussex Royal Instagram page last night. While the 2020 Invictus Games will take place in The Hague later this year, Harry revealed that Germany will host the tournament in 2022.
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Here we come Düsseldorf 🇩🇪! The new home for the 2022 and sixth Invictus Games. Having previously been held in London, Orlando, Toronto, Sydney, and upcoming The Hague this year in May – Düsseldorf will welcome over 500 competitors as they showcase their talents, determination and camaraderie to the world! The #InvictusGames is an international adaptive multi-sport event, created by The Duke of Sussex, in which wounded, injured or sick (WIS) armed services personnel and veterans show the world what they’re capable of in a series of adaptive sports, ranging from wheelchair basketball to indoor rowing. The Duke, having spent 10 years serving in the Armed Forces, set up the @WeAreInvictusGames to celebrate the power of sport rehabilitation (both physically and mentally) and to generate a wider appreciation for those who served their country beyond their time in uniform. Participating in the Games plays a significant part in the recovery journey of WIS Servicemen and women. It doesn’t just heal the individual, it heals the whole family. • “I hope everyone in Germany is ready for what will be an incredible week of sport! I have no doubt that the German public will get right behind these Games and that every single competitor can expect a warm welcome and an amazing atmosphere.” – The Duke of Sussex For more information of the announcement, visit https://invictusgamesfoundation.org/ig2022-announcement/ Video © @WeAreInvictusGames
“Here we come Düsseldorf 🇩🇪! The new home for the 2022 and sixth Invictus Games,” the video was captioned in part. “Having previously been held in London, Orlando, Toronto, Sydney, and upcoming The Hague this year in May – Düsseldorf will welcome over 500 competitors as they showcase their talents, determination and camaraderie to the world!”
While the future may be uncertain for Harry and Meghan’s roles in the royal family, it’s clear that Harry has no plans to stop supporting the causes he has always championed.
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