Prince Harry hosted a Sentebale charity polo tournament in Aspen, Colorado on Thursday.

The event marked Harry’s first public appearance since going on paternity leave after he welcomed daughter Lilibet Diana with wife Meghan Markle in June.

The Duke of Sussex and Team Sentebale: Winners’ Podium. Photo: SENTEBALE ISPS HANDA POLO CUP 2021
The Duke of Sussex and Team Sentebale: Winners’ Podium. Photo: SENTEBALE ISPS HANDA POLO CUP 2021
Prince Harry hugs players on the field. Photo: SENTEBALE ISPS HANDA POLO CUP 2021
Prince Harry hugs players on the field. Photo: SENTEBALE ISPS HANDA POLO CUP 2021

The Duke of Sussex hosted “the Sentebale ISPS Handa Polo Cup to raise critical funding for the charity’s core mission: supporting vulnerable children in Southern Africa who are impacted by extreme poverty, inequality, and the HIV/AIDS epidemic,” the Sentebale website confirmed.

Harry also announced he’d be donating $1.5 million of the proceeds from his forthcoming memoir to the charity, total donations brought in nearly $3.5 million.

Sentebale said: “We are enormously grateful for The Duke’s personal contribution, which will allow us to continue operating at full scale and continue providing critical services to at-risk youth in Southern Africa.”

The event was “an outdoor charity sports match that’s held annually and serves as the single largest fundraising moment for the organization to advance its mission on behalf of young people in need in Lesotho and Botswana.”

Like everything else, last year’s Polo Cup was postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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The site stated, “Under robust guidance from a leading epidemiologist and in coordination with the Pitkin County Public Health Department and local officials, a reduced version of the fundraiser will be taking place in Aspen, Colorado for the sole purpose of raising vital funds to support our work.”

Prince Harry and Nacho Figueras. Photo: SENTEBALE ISPS HANDA POLO CUP 2021
Prince Harry and Nacho Figueras. Photo: SENTEBALE ISPS HANDA POLO CUP 2021

Harry, who is a co-founding Patron of Sentebale, shared: “Our refocussed mission at Sentebale is about addressing the most-immediate needs of vulnerable children in Southern Africa, helping them access vital health services, receive necessary care, and build skills to be more resilient and self-sufficient in the future.”

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“We are incredibly grateful to our gracious hosts in Aspen, to ISPS Handa and the many other sponsors, and to everyone involved in making this year’s match not only possible—but most importantly, as safe as possible for the protection of donors, players, staff, and the entire community. The Sentebale Polo Cup is critical to securing the funds needed to advance this important mission, and I’m thrilled to be able to support Sentebale, both in person and financially through a separate charitable donation to meet this immediate need. This is one of several donations I plan to make to charitable organizations and I’m grateful to be able to give back in this way for the children and communities who gravely need it.”

Harry founded Sentebale with Prince Seeiso of Lesotho in 2006 after he visited the African country on his gap year.