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Prince Harry Is All Smiles At First Event Since Stepping Down As Senior Royal

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January 16, 2020 - 17:30 / Sarah Schulz

Prince Harry stepped out for his first public engagement since the announcement of his exit with Duchess Meghan. He appeared at Buckingham Palace to make some very exciting announcements on Thursday! 

The Duke of Sussex was all smiles as he stepped out for his first public outing since his exit from senior royal duties. Thursday marked the first time we have seen Prince Harry since him and his wife Meghan dropped the news that they are "Carving a progressive new role within" the royal family institution. The Duke attended the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draws for the men’s, women’s and wheelchair tournaments.

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Prince Harry hosts the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draws on January 16, 2020

Prince Harry is patron of the Rugby League

Harry has been the patron of the Rugby League since December 2016. The Duke met with representatives from all 21 nations that will be taking part in the tournament prior to the draws that were held today. Harry also got to watch some children from a local school play a game of rugby.

Duke of Sussex speaks to children playing rugby league prior to the draw for the Rugby League World Cup 2021 on January 16, 2020

Harry avoids questions about his future

The Duke was asked by one reporter: "How are the discussions going on your future?" according to People.  To which he avoided answering the question. Sources at the palace say that Harry even laughed at the fact that reporters are trying to get some behind-the-scenes information amid the transition of Harry and Meghan from senior members of the royal family. 

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Watch Prince Harry's announcement here:

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Introducing the Rugby League World Cup 2021 Mental Fitness Charter - a new initiative created by the RFL that will champion the importance of good mental fitness and create sustainable legacy the sport can be proud of. The Duke was announced Patron of the Rugby Football League in December 2016, after it was given to him by Her Majesty The Queen. He is proud to support the Rugby League and the steps made to improve the sport! The initiative announcement comes ahead of today's live RLWC2021 World cup draw with The Duke of Sussex, alongside representatives of all 21 nations involved, in Buckingham Palace. By "the final whistle of the final game" of @RLWC2021, the charter commits to: • - Train every player, team official, match official, teammate and volunteer to look after their own mental fitness and the mental fitness of those around them. - Support tournament players to take their experiences home and develop mental fitness awareness within their own Rugby League communities. - Deliver mental fitness workshops to 8,000 young Rugby League players, and their parents. - Train grass roots coaches to continue delivering mental fitness workshops and leave a sustainable tournament legacy. This comes at a vital time for both the sport and mental health awareness, with suicide being the most common cause of death for men aged 20-49 here in UK. Given that 93% of the 42,000 Rugby league players and 70% of spectators are male, the mental fitness charter is of huge importance to help educate both players and audiences of the benefits of looking after one's mental wellness. Video © @RLWC2021

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