Prince Harry’s final royal appearance: What happens next?
The Duke of Sussex stepped out at Buckingham Palace for the draw of the 2021 Rugby League World Cup, as the patron of the Royal Football League.
It is his final public engagement before he and his wife, Duchess Meghan, step down as “senior” royals.
It is also his first public appearance since his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II accepted the Duke and Duchess’ to reduce their royal roles in Britain and seek a more independent future, separated from the crown.
The World Cup draw was the last scheduled engagement for Prince Harry, sixth-in-line to the throne, before he and Meghan begin a "period of transition" and as part of his duty, he was required to witness two countries being drawn against each other.
Eyebrows raised slightly when the Sussex Royal Instagram account released footage of his last hurrah as a senior royal, with the accompanying music being a Stones Roses hit that included the line “I’d like to leave the country for month on Sundays.”
However, it emerged the indie track is the song choice of the tournament.
The Duke also spoke out about the pressures of having to be “tough” and hide your feelings.
“Rugby League isn’t just a sport, it’s a community. And one that takes care of its own,” he said.
“For many years it has been at the forefront of promoting and supporting good mental fitness, working hard to build a positive mindset for everyone involved in the sport. So I am proud to support the Rugby League World Cup 2021 Mental Fitness Charter.”
As he hosted the draws for the Rugby League World Cup 2021 with Olympic rowing champion Dame Katherine Grainger and 2005 Rugby World Cup winner Jason Robinson, he failed to show any signs of distress or turmoil that has overwhelmed the Royal Family.
After meeting with a student from St Vincent de Paul Catholic primary school, a reporter from a British tabloid yelled to Harry: “How are the discussions going about your future?”
The outburst didn’t deter the Duke from his happy, calm state and simply laughed out loud and continued back into the palace for the draw.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex shocked the world last week when they announced they had the intention to reduce their royal duties and spend more time in Canada, while also aiming to become financially independent.
The public announcement resulted in a family summit on Monday at her Sandringham estate which was attended by the Queen, Prince Harry, Prince William and heir to the British throne, Prince Charles.
It was agreed the couple would split their time between British and Canada, which the Queen stated in a rare and personal statement.
"Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family," the 93-year-old monarch said.
The couple have said they want a "progressive" new role for themselves and the ability to fund themselves.
As of now, the couple are not allowed to seek private income and most of their money comes from the private estate of Harry's father.
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