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Prince Harry pictured at first public engagement since royal exit announcement

Francesca Specter
Yahoo Style UK deputy editor

Prince Harry was pictured carrying out his first royal engagement today since he and his wife Meghan Markle announced they were stepping back as senior royals – a move that has been dubbed “Megxit”.

The Duke of Sussex, 35, hosted the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draw today at Buckingham Palace in London.

He was pictured arriving at the event dressed smartly in a navy suit paired with a white shirt and grey tie, and shot a smile at the cameras as he entered.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, has stayed in London to host the Rugby League World Cup 2021 today while Duchess Meghan remains in Vancouver Island with baby Archie. [Photo: Getty]
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, pictured at Buckingham Palace today. [Photo: Getty]

During the engagement, he met with representatives from all 21 nations taking part.

He will remain in the UK until next week, according to a source, despite reports that he may fly to rejoin Meghan and their baby Archie in Vancouver, Canada.

READ MORE: Sussexes decided it 'wasn't necessary' for Meghan to join Sandringham summit

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, smiles as he arrives to host the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draws at Buckingham Palace today. [Photo: Getty]
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, pictured at the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draws today. [Photo: Getty]

"The duke has some meetings here early next week,” a source told the PA news agency. It is not known what form these meetings will take.

Today’s engagement will see Prince Harry host draws for the men's, women's and wheelchair tournaments of the Rugby League World Cup 2021.

A screengrab taken from a video issued by Rugby League World Cup 2021 (RLWC2021) of the Duke of Sussex, the patron of the Rugby Football League, speaking about mental health. [Photo: PA]

Ahead of the engagement, the duke, who is a patron of the Rugby Football League, featured in a video to launch the Rugby League’s new mental health awareness campaign – aimed at “mental fitness”.

As part of a five-point mental fitness charter, organisers have vowed to train everyone involved in the league – including every player, official, match official and volunteer – to look after their own mental health.

This is to be achieved by the final match of the tournament, which takes place in October and November in 2021.

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In the footage, issued by Rugby League World Cup 2021 and later shared on the Sussex Royal Instagram account, Harry says: "Rugby League isn't just a sport, it's a community. And one that takes care of its own.

He adds: "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.”