Prince Harry 'doesn't address future with Meghan' in first public outing since showdown talks

Prince Harry has refused to comment on the future at his first official engagement since he and Meghan Markle announced plans to step back as senior members of the Royal Family.

The Duke of Sussex, 35, was hosting the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draw at Buckingham Palace in London.

He was pictured arriving at the event dressed smartly in a navy suit paired with a white shirt and grey tie, and shot a smile at the cameras as he entered.

Before the draw Harry chatted to youngsters during a break in their match and then the group posed for a photo in front of a group of photographers, cameramen and journalists.

READ MORE: Full list of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's current patronages

The Duke was asked how discussions about his future were going [Photo: Getty]
Prince Harry was asked how discussions about his future were going [Photo: Getty]

But as Harry was making his way back into the palace, one of the reporters posed a question about his future role in the monarchy.

“How are the discussions going on your future?” the reporter enquired.

Prince Harry did not respond to the question and continued walking back inside the palace.

But according to Richard Palmer, royal reporter for The Express, Harry “laughed out loud” once his back was turned away from reporters, which hints that he’s maintaining a sense of humour despite the difficult situation.

READ MORE: Duke and Duchess of Sussex losing titles 'very much a possibility'

While he didn’t answer questions about his future, the Duke appeared to be in good spirits during the outing, smiling and laughing with children before watching them play a game.

READ MORE: Meghan Markle quietly carried out a second Vancouver women's charity visit

Harry did go on to discuss the importance of rugby and sport in general in terms of the impact on physical and mental health.

“From my perspective, from my experience in my younger years and with the Invictus Games and all the sporting events I'm lucky enough to go to, the impact it has on young people and community as a whole is remarkable,” Harry said when asked about the importance of the Rugby League World Cup.

“Whether it's rugby league or sport in general, it needs to be in everyone's lives,” he added.

The Duke of Sussex laughed and joked with the children [Photo: Getty]
The Duke of Sussex laughed and joked with the children [Photo: Getty]

Prince Harry's appearance today is his first since he and Meghan announced their intentions to step back from their “senior” roles in the royal family.

The couple said they wanted to become “financially independent” and intend to split their time between the UK and Canada.

The surprise announcement led to discussions earlier this week at Sandringham with other senior royals, after which the Queen released a rare statement saying she and the family were “entirely supportive” of Prince Harry and Meghan’s decision, but adding that there was still much to work out.

Prince Harry didn't answer questions about the future after being quizzed by reporters [Photo: Getty]
Prince Harry didn't answer questions about the future [Photo: Getty]

READ MORE: Sussexes decided it 'wasn't necessary' for Meghan to join Sandringham summit

Harry is currently in his own in the UK, while Meghan has returned to Vancouver Island where she is staying with the couple’s son Archie.

Meghan flew back last Thursday, rejoining baby Archie who had stayed there with a nanny when the couple returned to London in early January.

However, Harry remained in London, where it is believed he will stay until next week.

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