Having been Patron of Rugby League for a number of years, Prince Harry’s time with the sport in a official capacity has come to an end as Buckingham Palace has announced he and the Duchess will not be returning as working members of the royal family.
In March Harry and Meghan controversially quit as working royals which naturally throw questions marks over his future with rugby league – a sport he’d been patron of since July 2017.
During this spell he’s played a significant role in the sport even presenting Warrington Wolves with the Challenge Cup at Wembley in 2019. He’s also been credited for working with all levels of the game. In fact, upon his departure the RFL tweeted: “The Rugby Football League thanks The Duke of Sussex for his time, care and commitment in supporting Rugby League at all levels in recent years – from the children’s game to the Challenge Cup, the England teams and RLWC2021.”
His departure is not ideal for rugby league in a World Cup year especially considering as his role in the World Cup draw was seen as a massive step in promoting this Autumn’s competition. Nonetheless, he’s had a positive influence on the sport up until this point and has set up the World Cup for success in 2021.
This move also sees the end of his affiliation with the RFU which he was also patron of. Moreover, it means that the couple’s Commonwealth and military patronages will no longer be theirs as they step forward into a new chapter attempting to earn their own money in the US having signed deals with the likes of Netflix.
However, a spokesman for the couple assured that they would continue to support the country and perhaps even the sport of rugby league: “As evidenced by their work over the past year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex remain committed to their duty and service to the UK and around the world, and have offered their continued support to the organisations they have represented regardless of official role.”