LONDON – Prince Harry has put in on Thursday his first public appearance since he announced last week that he and his wife Meghan would be leaving their positions as senior members of the UK royal family.
Harry, the grandson of Queen Elizabeth II, hosted an event in the gardens of Buckingham Palace, where he met young rugby players ahead of a draw for the Rugby League World Cup on Thursday.
The Duke of Sussex, who will later meet with representatives of the nations represented in the tournament, will remain in the UK to attend meetings scheduled for early next week.
On Monday, the prince held a meeting with the Queen and other members of the royal family for discussions on the future roles that he and his wife will play within the royal household.
The Queen said the royal family was open to a “period of transition” in order to accommodate the new situation of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
The couple announced last week that they wish to share their time between Canada and the UK and step back from their royal duties.
The couple also said they would move to become economically independent.
Buckingham Palace – the Queen’s official residence in London – said in a statement that there were still issues that needed to be resolved.
The Queen also expressed her support for her grandson, saying: “My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family.”
Meghan was meanwhile already in Canada with the couple’s son, Archie.
She traveled to the country last week after announcing, along with Harry, their desire to take a step back as senior members of the royal family.
The unexpected announcement of Harry, sixth in line to the throne behind his father, brother and his brother’s three children, and his wife has divided public opinion in the UK, with some understanding the couple’s desire for greater privacy and others questioning whether they will be able to be financed independently.