Prince Harry keeps patronage

Prince Harry will retain his place as the royal patron of the RFL, the governing body has announced.

The RFL released the statement in response to statements from Buckingham Palace and HM The Queen on Saturday.

This follows the recent news of the prince’s intentions to step back as a senior royal.

The Prince helped to conduct the draw for the Rugby League World Cup on Thursday. He has been involved since December 2016, after taking over from HM The Queen.

Ralph Rimmer, the RFL Chief Executive, said: “We received a message from the Palace on Saturday explaining that the Duke will continue to work with his patronages – as confirmed in the statements from HM The Queen and Buckingham Palace.

“We are delighted, and we look forward to the continuation of the relationship between the Duke and Rugby League.

“He has shown a genuine commitment to working with us, initially getting involved in our community and youth programmes and sharing his support for England Rugby League.

“Before recent higher profile roles presenting the Challenge Cup at Wembley last August, and of course hosting the draw for RLWC2021 at Buckingham Palace last week and demonstrating his personal commitment to our sport’s Mental Fitness Charter.

“Speaking on behalf of RLWC2021, they were equally thrilled by his involvement – and are equally delighted that the Duke will remain the sport’s Patron as we build towards hosting Men’s, Women’s and Wheelchair Rugby League World Cups in England next year.”

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