UK & US

Harry to carry out first public engagement since royal crisis

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 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.

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"The duke has some meetings here early next week", a source told the PA news agency.

Still relevant or a relic of the past?

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.

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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.

Meghan Markle with members of the Vancouver Downtown Eastside Women's Centre Pic: DEWC Vancouver
Image: Meghan Markle with members of the Vancouver Downtown Eastside Women's Centre Pic: DEWC Vancouver

Yesterday, The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle visited to discuss climate justice for girls and the rights of Indigenous peoples. Was great to talk about the importance of a holistic approach to social justice, and the power of young womens leadership. #DuchessOfSussex pic.twitter.com/M9LaqEELl7

— Justice For Girls (@JFG_Canada) January 16, 2020

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.

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