PRINCE Harry says that only coronavirus has stopped him from returning to the UK – as he vowed to fly home for the Rugby League World Cup.
The Duke of Sussex, 35, joined a Zoom call with staff and volunteers from the Rugby Football League to mark the sport’s 125th birthday.
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To mark the occasion, Prince Harry joined players, coaches and volunteers from the game to host a special virtual Zoom quiz.
Speaking from his Santa Barbara mansion, The Duke of Sussex said: “We’ve got a whole Rugby League world cup coming next year.
“I definitely plan on coming back. I would have been back already had it not been for Covid.”
Harry went on to express his love for the game, and said the sport had “thrived” since its birth in 1895.
I would have been back already had it not been for Covid
He said: “Watching Rugby League is exhausting.
“Listen I spent 10 years in the army, I know what endurance is all about. But it’s madness.
“Full respect to anyone that plays the game, I think it’s amazing, and a lot of people would be jealous not to be part of that community.”
Harry continued: “It can bring so many families together, bring so many people together.
“It doesn’t matter whether you’re in the stands, whether you’re the groundsman, whether you’re a player, whether you’re a fan, or whether you’re a first time watcher, every single person is bound by this family feeling”.
Just days after announcing that he would retire from royal duties with wife Meghan Markle, The Duke of Sussex hosted the World Cup draw at Buckingham Palace.
The Rugby World Cup is set to take place in England between 23 October and 27 November next year.
It comes as a Royal expert claimed that Meghan and Harry are expected to cross the pond next summer to see the unveiling of a new Princess Diana statue.
Appearing on the Heirpod podcast, royal author Omid Scobie – who co-authored the biography Finding Freedom – claimed the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have “many reasons” to be based in the UK next summer.
He explained: “In March, we have the Invictus Games, which has been rescheduled, in the Hague.
“In June, we have Trooping the Colour, which I imagine Prince Harry and Meghan would like to still be at, and July 1, we have the unveiling of the Princess Diana statue.”
He added: “I would not be surprised if we saw the Sussexes spend an extended period of time in the UK next year.”