Prince Harry attended his first public event Thursday since stepping down as a senior member of theRoyal Family.

Harry met young rugby players in the gardens of Buckingham Palace before hosting the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draw.

Photo by Tim Rooke/Shutterstock
Photo by Tim Rooke/Shutterstock

The Duke of Sussex, who is currently in the U.K. while his wife Meghan Markle is in Canada with baby Archie, will later meet representatives of the nations playing in the World Cup.

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According to the Daily Express’ royals correspondent, Harry refused to answer questions about his and Meghan’s recent statement regarding their future in the Royal Family.

Harry, who has been patron of the Rugby Football League since December 2016, reportedly “laughed out loud” when the first question was asked.

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The duke’s appearance comes after he and Meghan announced they’d be splitting their time between Canada and the U.K. after spending the holidays on Vancouver Island.

The Queen then released a statement following a meeting with the royals Monday, which read: “My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family. 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.”