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Prince Harry takes on first duties since royal crisis talks

Britain's Prince Harry spoke to children playing rugby prior to the draw for the Rugby League World Cup 2021 at Buckingham Palace Thursday.
Britain's Prince Harry spoke to children playing rugby prior to the draw for the Rugby League World Cup 2021 at Buckingham Palace Thursday.ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images

LONDON (AP) — Prince Harry went back to work Thursday, taking on his first royal duties since a pivotal summit with Queen Elizabeth II on his future role in the royal family.

Harry is expected to carry on as normal, with no immediate plans to be reunited with his wife Meghan, who travelled to Canada after the couple released a bombshell statement last week announcing their wish to step back from royal duties. He is set to carry on meetings into next week, Britain's Press Association reported.

The monarch brokered a deal on Monday that determined there would be "a period of transition'' to sort out the complicated matter of how to be a part-time royal. Meghan and Harry will spend time in both Canada and the U.K. as things are sorted out.

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In his first engagement since the crisis emerged, Harry will host the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draw at Buckingham Palace.

In the meantime, he has released two video statements on causes he has long championed: mental health and the Invictus Games.

In the first video, he introduced a new initiative to champion the importance of mental health for those who play rugby. The initiative aims to combine sport with mental health awareness at a time when suicide is the leading cause of death for men between the ages of 20 and 49 in the UK.

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Here we come Düsseldorf 🇩🇪! The new home for the 2022 and sixth Invictus Games. Having previously been held in London, Orlando, Toronto, Sydney, and upcoming The Hague this year in May - Düsseldorf will welcome over 500 competitors as they showcase their talents, determination and camaraderie to the world! The #InvictusGames is an international adaptive multi-sport event, created by The Duke of Sussex, in which wounded, injured or sick (WIS) armed services personnel and veterans show the world what they’re capable of in a series of adaptive sports, ranging from wheelchair basketball to indoor rowing. The Duke, having spent 10 years serving in the Armed Forces, set up the @WeAreInvictusGames to celebrate the power of sport rehabilitation (both physically and mentally) and to generate a wider appreciation for those who served their country beyond their time in uniform. Participating in the Games plays a significant part in the recovery journey of WIS Servicemen and women. It doesn’t just heal the individual, it heals the whole family. • “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 of Sussex For more information of the announcement, visit https://invictusgamesfoundation.org/ig2022-announcement/ Video © @WeAreInvictusGames

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In footage posted on the Sussexroyal Instagram page, he also launched the next leg of the Invictus Games for wounded service personnel and veterans. The event will be held in Dusseldorf in 2022.

“I hope everyone in Germany is ready for what will be an incredible week of sport!'' Harry said. “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.”

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Introducing the Rugby League World Cup 2021 Mental Fitness Charter - a new initiative created by the RFL that will champion the importance of good mental fitness and create sustainable legacy the sport can be proud of. The Duke was announced Patron of the Rugby Football League in December 2016, after it was given to him by Her Majesty The Queen. He is proud to support the Rugby League and the steps made to improve the sport! The initiative announcement comes ahead of today’s live RLWC2021 World cup draw with The Duke of Sussex, alongside representatives of all 21 nations involved, in Buckingham Palace. By “the final whistle of the final game” of @RLWC2021, the charter commits to: • - Train every player, team official, match official, teammate and volunteer to look after their own mental fitness and the mental fitness of those around them. - Support tournament players to take their experiences home and develop mental fitness awareness within their own Rugby League communities. - Deliver mental fitness workshops to 8,000 young Rugby League players, and their parents. - Train grass roots coaches to continue delivering mental fitness workshops and leave a sustainable tournament legacy. This comes at a vital time for both the sport and mental health awareness, with suicide being the most common cause of death for men aged 20-49 here in UK. Given that 93% of the 42,000 Rugby league players and 70% of spectators are male, the mental fitness charter is of huge importance to help educate both players and audiences of the benefits of looking after one’s mental wellness. Video © @RLWC2021

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