Prince Harry is to conduct his first public engagement since unveiling plans that he and his wife Meghan will be stepping back as senior royals, sparking a royal crisis.
The Duke of Sussex will host the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draw at Buckingham Palace on Thursday and will meet with representatives from all 21 nations participating.
He will then remain in the UK into next week, despite rumours he was preparing to fly to Canada to join Meghan and their eight-month-old son Archie.
The Queen, in a bid to take back control of the situation, has approved of Harry and Meghan’s desire to step back from their royal duties, as well as split their time between the UK and Canada and become financially independent.
Harry was reported to be staying in the UK to hold further discussions about his future role in the Royal Family, though the Palace has not released any updates since the Queen’s personal statement on Monday.
The duke has some meetings here early next week, a source told the PA news agency.
The Duchess of Sussex has since returned to Canada to be with Archie, who is said to have stayed there with a nanny when she and Harry travelled to the UK.
On Tuesday, she visited a women’s shelter in Vancouver to discuss issues that impact women directly.
An image of Meghan posing with staff members was posted on Facebook following the engagement, which was her first since last week’s announcement.
And on Wednesday she visited the charity Justice For Girls to discuss issues including the rights of Indigenous peoples and the power of young women’s leadership.
Meanwhile, a legal document submitted to the High Court by the publisher of the Mail on Sunday and MailOnline was published in response to Meghan’s legal action over an article featuring parts of a handwritten letter to her father that was published in February 2019.
The documents revealed that her father, Thomas Markle, could testify against her in her legal battle with The Mail on Sunday as he forms part of the newspaper’s defence.
Harry’s official engagement on Thursday will see him host the Rugby League World Cup draws for the men’s, women’s and wheelchair tournaments, which will be livestreamed across the Royal Family and Rugby League World Cup 2021 Twitter and Facebook channels.
The world cup tournament runs from 23 October to 27 November 2021 in 17 cities across England, with 16 men’s, eight women’s and eight wheelchair teams from 21 nations taking part.
On Wednesday the duke also launched the next leg of his Invictus Games, for wounded and injured service personnel and veterans, and shared an Instagram video announcing the event will be held in Dusseldorf, Germany, in 2022.
In the clip posted on the official sussexroyal account, Harry said: I hope everyone in Germany is ready for what will be an incredible week of sport!
I have no doubt that the German public will get right behind these Games and that every single competitor can expect a warm welcome and an amazing atmosphere.
The duke and duchess have dropped their claim to be internationally protected people from their website, suggesting there may be an issue over their round-the-clock security funded by the taxpayer now they are stepping back from their royal duties.
(c) Sky News 2020: Prince Harry to carry out first public engagement since royal crisis