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Prince Harry Is All Smiles During First Appearance Since Big Announcement With Duchess Meghan

Despite any royal drama that may be lingering, Prince Harry stepped out to conduct the draw for the upcoming Rugby League World Cup in 2021. The Duke of Sussex was all smiles as he made his first public appearance since announcing he and wife Duchess Meghan (née Markle) are taking a step back from their royal duties.

The beloved prince, 35, arrived at Buckingham Palace Gardens for the event on Thursday, January 16. Harry looked handsome as always as he donned his signature navy blue suit. He also accessorized his look with a white dress shirt, light blue-patterned tie and black Oxfords.

Prior to making the draw for the men’s, women’s and wheelchair tournaments, Harry — who is a patron of the Rugby Football League — seemed happier than ever as he greeted schoolchildren and ambassadors to the Rugby League World Cup 2021. Harry was also spotted chatting and laughing along with the group of kiddos, who were lucky enough to play a rugby match on Queen Elizabeth‘s prestigious garden grounds.

Later in his outing, Harry partook in the draws for the upcoming tournaments. The royal dad — who tied the knot with Meghan, 38, in May 2018 and welcomed son Archie, 8 months, in May 2019 — was joined by rugby star Jason Robinson and former Olympic rower Dame Katherine Grainger. During his speech, Harry highlighted the importance of mental health.

“First of all, it’s an honor to be standing next to two sporting legends,” the rugby fan gushed. “From my perspective, from the experience I have had through my younger years, but also through Invictus and all the sporting events I am lucky enough to go to or watch … the input is has on young people and the community as a whole is remarkable.”

Harry’s outing comes a week after he and Meghan shocked the world by announcing they were officially taking a step back as senior members of the royal family. The doting parents revealed they “now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America,” all while still “continuing to honor our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth and our patronages,” they revealed in a statement on January 8.

While many fans assumed Meg and Harry’s royal relinquishment was because of their struggles of life in the spotlight, a source argued it’s because they want to move to Canada. “Moving to Canada is definitely an option for Harry and Meghan,” a royal insider exclusively shared with Closer Weekly, noting the couple’s decision to retreat from the royal spotlight makes the move even more likely. “They’ve been considering it for a while and loved the time they spent in Vancouver over the holidays!”

The source added, “They’d also be able to give Archie a more normal upbringing in Canada, away from the media circus in London, which is a priority for the royal couple. Archie is their No. 1 priority.”

Scroll through the gallery below to see pics from Harry’s outing!