In Brief

Harry’s first public appearance since ‘crisis’ - reaction

Royal laughed when reporters asked him how talks on his future were going

Prince Harry has made his first public appearance since he and the Duchess of Sussex announced last week that they are going to step back as senior royals.

All eyes were on the Duke of Sussex as he hosted the draw for the Rugby League World Cup 2021 at Buckingham Palace yesterday.

The BBC’s Shamoon Hafez said Prince Harry gave “a loud laugh” when a reporter asked him how talks on his future were going.

Although he did not reply, The Sun said he was “beaming” as he laughed it off. However, the paper added that: “despite his brave face” he also “anxiously fiddled with his wedding ring”.

“Harry’s number’s up,” said the Daily Mail as it looked to the future, asking: “Was this Harry's final engagement as a senior royal?”

The paper said Harry “looked serious” and was “glued to his phone as he was swept into the palace in his Jaguar”. It added that he “appeared stern as he arrived in the palace garden but his face finally lit up as he watched children play tag rugby on the Queen's lawn”.

The prince joked as he joined the budding rugby stars, telling them: “Look after the grass though yeah? Otherwise I'll get in trouble.”

Rhiannon Mills of Sky News said that though Harry “looked calm and relaxed” it is “worth saying that in the past maybe we would have seen him grabbing hold of that rugby ball” but it was a “much more serious Harry”.

He was introduced to two ambassadors for the global tournament - James Simpson, England and Leeds Rhinos wheelchair rugby league star, and Jodie Cunningham, a rugby league ace in the Women's Super League for St Helens.

Later, he said: “I see sport actually changing lives, but it's saving lives as well, so I think for me and... everybody in this room, whether it's rugby league, or sports in general... it needs to be in everybody's life if possible.”

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