Prince Harry Leaves Meghan Markle and Baby Archie at Home to Play Polo for His Charity in Rome

The royal dad is raising money for children in Africa

Prince Harry is back in the saddle!

The royal dad, whose son Archie was born on May 6, traveled to Italy on Friday to play polo for his African kids’ charity, Sentebale. Harry arrived in Rome on Thursday, making the outing his first night away from Archie and Meghan since their son was born.

Harry teamed up with professional polo pal Nacho Figueras — who was a guest at Harry and Meghan’s wedding last May — for the match, leaving Meghan and Archie at home. The splashy event was to raise funds and awareness of the charity’s work supporting the mental health and wellbeing of young people whose lives have been affected by HIV in southern Africa.

Harry set up Sentebale with Prince Seeiso of Lesotho and has now widened its work from out of the mountain kingdom to neighboring Botswana. The charity says that despite great progress made worldwide in combatting the AIDS epidemic, HIV remains one of the leading causes of death for adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa, where three out of four new HIV infections among 15–19-year-olds are among young women. Stigma is a major factor preventing youth from knowing their HIV status and accessing lifesaving treatment and care.

<a href="" data-inlink="true">Prince Harry</a>
Prince Harry. Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock
<a href="" data-inlink="true">Prince Harry</a>, Duke of Sussex
Prince Harry. Elisabetta A. Villa/Getty
<a href="" data-inlink="true">Prince Harry</a>
Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock

Earlier this month, Harry, 34, tore himself away from his family to help launch the next stage of his Invictus Games, for veterans and wounded armed forces members, in the Netherlands.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with their baby son
Press Association via AP

But he is expected to take some time off following the polo match.

<a href="" data-inlink="true">Prince Harry</a>
Nacho Figueras and Prince Harry. Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock
<a href="" data-inlink="true">Prince Harry</a>, Delfina Blaquier, Nacho Figueras
Prince Harry, Delfina Blaquier, Nacho Figueras and Johnny Horbny. Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock

Harry and Prince William used to play several charity matches each summer — sometimes on the same side or often on opposing teams. But the royal brothers have scaled back their polo-playing this summer because of family commitments. “They will both play polo in support of their charities, but work and family responsibilities mean that they can’t commit to as many polo matches as they used to,” a palace source told PEOPLE last month.

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