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London – Prince Harry went back to work Thursday, mixing with children playing rugby and offering no hint of the days of turmoil that followed his recent announcement that he wished to step back from royal duties and become financially independent.

It was a fairly standard event for Harry, who watched as children from a local school offer a rugby demonstration on the Buckingham Palace grounds. Though ordinary, it marked the first time Harry had taken on a public engagement since announcing last week that he and his wife Meghan needed a change.

He joked with the kids and shook hands – offering flashes of the beaming smile that has made him one of the most popular members of the House of Windsor. He ignored a journalist’s question about ongoing discussions on his future.

“Look after the grass though, yeah?” he said to the children before retreating into his grandmother’s house. “Otherwise I’ll get in trouble.”

Queen Elizabeth II 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.

Royal aides are working around the clock to find solutions to the crisis. He is expected to remain in the U.K. into the coming week.

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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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Meghan is already in Canada, where she has carried out visits to charities in Vancouver including Justice For Girls, which campaigns for an end to violence, poverty and racism for teenagers.

In the meantime, Harry 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 U.K.

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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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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 Duesseldorf in 2022.

As part of his duties Thursday, the prince also hosted the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draw in the palace’s grand throne room. He spoke about sport having the power to change lives.

“It’s saving lives as well,” Harry said. “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.”

Harry then pulled the first ball of the draw, which decided the opening game for England’s men’s team. The country picked was Samoa.

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