Prince Harry has not reunited with Duchess Meghan and their son, Archie, since the couple announced their plan to “step back” and “become financially independent” from the royal family on January 8. But there’s a specific reason the Army vet has been away from his family at this time.
Harry, 35, is staying in England ahead of an event he’s expected to attend in London on Thursday, January 16. For his first public engagement since announcing his plans to give up his senior role, he will host the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draw at Buckingham Palace. He became a patron of the organization in December 2016.
“In light of everything that has happened recently, we’re honored that he will make the draw,” Ralph Rimmer, the chief executive of the Rugby Football League, said at a launch event in Huddersfield, England, on Monday, January 13, according to The Guardian. “He’s been a superb patron for us. Of course, there will be the eyes and ears of the world’s media on that event, and I suppose the event will benefit from that.”
That same day, Harry had a meeting with Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles and Prince William at the monarch’s estate in Sandringham, England. Their conversation centered around determining Harry and the 38-year-old Suits star’s future involvement in the royal family. A statement from the queen, 93, released by Buckingham Palace on Monday revealed the group had “very constructive discussions” about her grandson’s next chapter.
“My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family,” the statement continued. “Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working Members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family.”
While Harry has remained in England, Meghan and Archie are in Canada, where they spent a six-week break over the holidays. Us Weekly confirmed that the former Tig blogger was seen for the first time since the step back news bundled up boarding a Vancouver-bound flight from Vancouver Island on Tuesday, January 14.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who wed in May 2018, confirmed via Instagram on January 8 that they plan to split their time between the U.K. and North America. They said that the “geographic balance” will allow them to raise Archie “with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity.”
On Tuesday, a source told Us exclusively that Harry “wants a fresh start” away from the royal family. The prince is “desperate to get as far away as he can from all the negativity.”