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Duke of Sussex joins rugby league fans for Wembley cup final

There was no sign of the Duchess of Sussex or their baby, Archie, at the game.

The Duke of Sussex attends the Rugby League Challenge Cup Final (Adam Holt/PA)
The Duke of Sussex attends the Rugby League Challenge Cup Final (Adam Holt/PA)

By Helen William, PA

The Duke of Sussex stepped into the sunshine to join rugby league fans in his first public appearance since being involved in a row over the use of private jets.

Harry appeared in good spirits at the Rugby League Challenge Cup Final at Wembley, which saw Warrington Wolves crowned champions after overcoming rivals St Helens.

The duke, who is the patron of the Rugby Football League, presented the Challenge Cup to the winners.

Earlier, he shook hands and chatted with players and mascots before the kick-off.

There was no sign of the Duchess of Sussex or their baby, Archie, at the game.

Harry and Meghan have been under the spotlight for taking four private jet journeys in 11 days, despite their environmental campaigning.

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The Duke of Sussex attends the Rugby League Challenge Cup Final (Adam Holt/PA)

Famous friends including singers Sir Elton John and Pink, plus chat show host Ellen DeGeneres, have sought to defend the royal couple in the face of accusations of hypocrisy.

Sir Elton suggested he provided them with a private flight to Nice to “maintain a high level of much-needed protection”.

Pink said that Meghan has been subjected to “the most public form of bullying I have seen in a while” and called on people to show “it’s cool to be kind”, while DeGeneres said the royals were “the most down-to-earth, compassionate people”.

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The duke at Wembley (Adam Holt/PA)

Greenpeace UK’s chief scientist Dr Doug Parr warned that carbon offsetting was “not a meaningful response to aviation emissions”.

He added on Twitter: “Good works CAN be done with offset schemes, but it is no solution.”

Before the Challenge Cup Final, Harry had also met players and coaches from the National Year 7 boys champions – who played in the traditional Wembley curtain-raiser.

He also met players from the Leeds Rhinos Women’s team who won the Women’s Challenge Cup, and the Leeds Rhinos team who scooped victory in the Wheelchair Challenge Cup.

PA

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