Prince Harry will stay in the United Kingdom this week to continue negotiations with the royal family. Picture:AP/Matt Dunham
Prince Harry will stay in the United Kingdom this week to continue negotiations with the royal family. Picture:AP/Matt Dunham

Prince Harry laughs off Megxit question

Prince Harry has stepped out for what could be his last official event as a full-time royal, after announcing his plans to move to Canada last week.

The Duke of Sussex, who met with the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William to negotiate new pared-back roles for him and Meghan on Monday, looked happy as he hosted the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draws for the men's, women's and wheelchair tournaments at Buckingham Palace on Thursday morning (UK time).

The event began on the palace's back lawn, where he met with young players and officials.

"Look after the grass or I'll get in trouble," he joked.

The Prince then faced the inevitable question from a reporter - "Harry, how are the discussions going on your future?" - but he laughed it off before heading inside.

Prince Harry is the patron of the Rugby football League. Picture: Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Prince Harry is the patron of the Rugby football League. Picture: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

 

He looked happy as he met with young players on the lawn. Picture: Chris Jackson/Getty Images
He looked happy as he met with young players on the lawn. Picture: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

 

Before the event, the Duke spoke out about the pressures of having to "be tough" and hide your feelings in a video posted on Instagram spruiking a new mental health program for rugby players.

"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."

 

View this post on Instagram

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

A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal) on

 

Prince Harry said the charter was designed to help rugby league players understand there was no need to always "be tough" and "grin and bear it".

"This charter will build on the brilliant work already happening in rugby league by committing to training and educating all those involved in the tournament and the wider rugby league family, not only in how they can look after their own mental fitness but also support others to do the same," he said.

"The perception of rugby league is that you need to be tough, you can't show your feelings, you have to grin and bear it. But something like the Mental Fitness Charter will help us make real progress in getting rid of the stigma associated with mental illness and remind people that it is not just about being physically fit but more importantly mentally strong."

 

Prince Harry and Meghan plan to split their time between the United Kingdom and Canada going forward. Picture: AP/Frank Augstein
Prince Harry and Meghan plan to split their time between the United Kingdom and Canada going forward. Picture: AP/Frank Augstein

NEW PICTURES OF MEGHAN EMERGE

The video came as new pictures emerged of Meghan discussing "climate justice for girls" with a women's charity in Vancouver.

The Duchess of Sussex has been in Canada with her eight-month-old son Archie since she and Harry announced their plans to spend more time in Canada and become "financially independent".

She's been staying at a secluded beachfront mansion on Vancouver Island, reportedly worth a cool A$20.7 million.

 

 

 

The Justice for Girls charity she visited works to promote ending violence and racism against teenage girls living in poverty.

"Yesterday the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, visited to discuss climate justice for girls and the rights of indigenous peoples," the group posted on Twitter.

"Was great to talk about the importance of a holistic approach to social justice, and the power of young women's leadership."

While Prince Harry had been expected to join his wife in Canada later this week, it's believed he will now stay in the United Kingdom to continue negotiations with his family.

The Queen said on Monday that "final decisions" about her grandson's future role in the royal family would be made in "coming days".

Meanwhile, locals in Vancouver say they wouldn't mind if the couple stayed for good.

"We don't envy their lifestyle," Karen Halkett, who lives a 10-minute walk from the couple's mansion, told the National Post.

"Everybody who comes here usually comes for the same reason. They just want a quiet life, you know?"



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