The duke will host the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draw at Buckingham Palace on Thursday and will remain in the UK into next week. This will be his first public engagement since announcing that he and his wife Meghan will be stepping back as senior royals, he will meet with representatives from all 21 nations taking part.
The duke will then remain in the UK into next week, despite rumours claiming he was preparing to fly to Canada to be reunited with Meghan and baby son Archie. The Queen has agreed to the wish of her grandson and his wife to step back as senior royals, become financially independent and split their time between the UK and Canada.
Reports claim the duke is remaining in the UK to hold further discussions about his future role in the royal family, but Buckingham Palace has released no further updates since the Queen’s personal statement on Monday.
Harry’s official engagement on Thursday will see him host the Rugby League World Cup draws for the men’s, women’s and wheelchair tournaments. Prior to the draw taking place, Harry – who was announced as patron of the Rugby Football League in December 2016 – will watch children from a local school play rugby in the palace gardens.
The draws will be streamed live across the royal family and Rugby League World Cup 2021 Twitter and Facebook channels. 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 from 21 nations taking part.
In another sign that the duke is attempting to carry on as normal, he launched the next leg of his Invictus Games, for wounded and injured service personnel and veterans, with an Instagram video on Wednesday evening which announced the event will be held in Dusseldorf, Germany, in 2022.
Meghan Markle is making a return to public life by putting the focus firmly on her philanthropic work. The Duchess, 38, paid a secret visit to the Vancouver headquarters of Justice for Girls on Tuesday – hours after her surprise appearance at the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre. The organisation shared two images taken during Meghan’s visits; one picture shows Meghan holding a coffee cup and engaging in a lively conversation around the table, and the second is a group photo. The caption read: “Yesterday, The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle visited to discuss climate justice for girls and the right of Indigenous peoples. Was great to talk about the importance of a holistic approach to social justice, and the power of young women’s leadership.”