Prince Harry invites top sports stars to the palace for special engagement

Prince Harry

Prince Harry is set to host some of the UK’s top rugby stars at Kensington Palace today, to honour Try for Change and The Jonny Wilkinson Foundation, two sport-focused charities close to his heart.

Harry, who is a patron of the Rugby Football Union, will meet the current England rugby team and their coach at the reception, before hosting a Q&A session with team co-captain Dylan Hartley.

The Duke of Sussex will also speak with former England stars and World Cup champions like Jason Leonard, Lawrence Dallaglio and Jonny Wilkinson.

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Try for Change is a charity run by England Rugby, which uses rugby and its core values as a tool to improve and support the lives of marginalised and disadvantaged people. The Jonny Wilkinson Foundation is a charitable organisation which supports people with mental health concerns, another issue close to Harry’s heart.

A keen rugby fan himself, Harry was spotted cheering and singing the national anthem at Twickenham Stadium on Sunday as he watched England gain a decisive 44-8 victory over France in their Six Nations match. He also took some time out to discuss his love of the sport with six 11- and 12-year-old boys involved in the CBRE All Schools programme, which aims to increase the number of secondary schools playing rugby union.

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George Reynolds, 12, told The Express, “We were just talking about sport, the Invictus Games and all of that. I’d expected him to speak really posh, but he’s just really normal.” 12-year-old Tiago da Costa Conceicao revealed, “He said to cheer for England and in rugby try to go to the top and set goals.”

Prince Harry also leads the mental health Charity Heads Together alongside his brother and sister-in-law, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The charity brings together eight mental health charities, including Mind.