Meghan Markle returned to Canada last week, where they spent the end of the year with son Archie

By Stephanie Petit
January 16, 2020 11:19 AM
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Prince Harry hosted the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draws on Thursday, but he’s not heading back to Canada — where wife Meghan Markle and 8-month-old son Archie are — just yet.

The Duke of Sussex will remain in the U.K. until at least early next week for meetings, PEOPLE confirms.

Harry, 35, was all smiles on Thursday for his first official outing since announcing that he and his wife are exiting their roles senior royals. He appeared at Buckingham Palace in London to meet with representatives from all 21 nations taking part in Rugby League World Cup 2021 and watch children from a local school play rugby league in the Buckingham Palace gardens.

Prince Harry was asked by a reporter: “How are the discussions going on your future?”

He didn’t answer, but sources at the palace event say he laughed at the attempt to get his opinion on what’s going on behind-the-scenes

Harry was announced as patron of the Rugby Football League in December 2016, succeeding the Queen

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
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After spending the end of the year on Canada’s Vancouver Island with Archie, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex returned to London for a handful of engagements on Jan. 7. They visited Canada House to thank the country for hosting them and also stopped by the Hubb Community Kitchen, one of Meghan’s first royal partnerships, to check in and wish them a happy new year.

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Meghan, 38, and Prince Harry shared their decision to step down as senior members of the royal family on Wednesday, soon after which Meghan flew back to Canada to reunite with Archie. Harry, meanwhile, remained in England to continue the discussion about the big changes ahead with Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles and Prince William.

Archie, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
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At the conclusion of the historic family summit on Monday, Queen Elizabeth announced that that as conversations regarding Meghan and Harry’s decision to step down as senior royals continue, there will be a “period of transition in which the Sussexes will spend time in Canada and the U.K.”

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“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,” The Queen, 93, said in the statement, going on to specifically mention that the royal couple “do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives.”

“These are complex matters for my family to resolve, and there is some more work to be done, but I have asked for final decisions to be reached in the coming days.”

Prince Harry
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Meghan previously lived in Toronto, where her former TV show Suits was filmed. The couple also made their first public appearance together in 2017, while attending Harry’s Invictus Games in Toronto.

At the time, the palace said Harry and Meghan’s decision to base themselves in the country over the holidays “reflects the importance of this Commonwealth country to them both.”

“The Duke of Sussex has been a frequent visitor to Canada over many years, and it was also home to The Duchess for seven years before she became a member of the Royal Family,” the statement continued. “They are enjoying sharing the warmth of the Canadian people and the beauty of the landscape with their young son.”