Royals

Prince Harry was asked about his ‘future’ in his first appearance since the royal exit announcement

Harry hosted the draw for the Rugby League World Cup and announced a new mental health initiative.

The Duke of Sussex has made his first public appearance since last week's shocking announcement to host the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draw at Buckingham Palace on Thursday.
Despite the fact tensions would be running high behind the scenes, Prince Harry was all smiles as he hosted the draw for the men's, women's and wheelchair tournaments as part of his role as Patron of the Rugby Football League.
Of course, the recent shock announcement by the Sussexes wasn't far from people's minds with one reporter asking the Prince: "How are the discussions going on your future?"
Prince Harry chats with the CEO of the Rugby World Cup Jon Dutton and Leeds Rhino player James Simpson at Buckingham Palace for the tournament's draw. (Image: Getty)
While the prince unsurprisingly didn't answer, he did reportedly laugh at the attempt to get his insight into how the discussions about his, Duchess Meghan and little Archie's futures are shaping up.
Former Rugby League player Jason Robinson told the media that he's worked with Harry several times over the years and says that "anything I have ever since Prince Harry involved in, he has been amazing."
He added that what goes on between Harry and his family is not his business, but what can always be guaranteed is that no matter what is going on, "wherever he goes he still delivers.
"He is very respectful, very warm, very endearing. This draw would not have been the same had he not committed to it. We are very grateful for his time."
When asked if he hoped Harry would stay involved in the sport when he steps back from a full-time working royal role Jason replied: "I am not sure what the future holds, but one thing I am quite certain is that, if you look at what Prince Harry has done to date, he cares about people – physically, mentally.
"He has gone all over the world – inspiring, caring, looking after people. I don't think that will change. What capacity he does that, going forward, will be up to [him]. When you've got that in you, it will go wherever he is."
Prince Harry meets local school children at Buckingham Palace. (Image: Getty)
Ahead of the World Cup's draw Prince Harry met with representatives from the 21 nations taking part in the tournament and watched children from local school play rugby league in the grounds of the Palace.
Harry also took to Instagram to announce a new mental health initiative created by the RFL called the Rugby League World Cup 2021 Mental Fitness Charter that will champion the importance of good mental fitness and create a sustainable legacy the sport can be proud of.
In a video posted to the @SussexRoyal account, Prince Harry says to camera: "Rugby League isn't just a sport, it's a community – and one that takes care of its own.
"For years it has been at the forefront of supporting good mental fitness, working hard to build a positive mindset for everyone involved in the sport."
After explaining the goal of the new mental health initiative Harry adds: "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's not just about being physically fit, but more importantly mentally strong."

It could also be seen as a clue to the Sussexes' decision to step back from senior roles as the royal family – after previously admitting they have been struggling behind closed doors from the intense scrutiny and vitriol aimed towards them, this could be what they believe is the best way to safeguard their family and their mental health.
Last week the couple made the shock announcement in an Instagram post that they would be stepping back from their roles as senior royals, splitting their time between the UK and Canada and becoming financially independent.
After a crisis summit at Sandringham with the Queen, Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry in attendance, the Queen released a statement in support of the couple's decision and saying finalised decisions of how the Sussexes' future will look will be announced in the coming days.
Following the announcement, Duchess Meghan flew to Canada, where Archie had reportedly remained since the family-of-three's six-week break over the festive season and has been spotted visiting a women's centre and women's rights group in Vancouver this week.