Prince Harry decries ‘these isolated times’ as he speaks of the ‘passion and enjoyment’ of sport

Prince Harry described life under coronavirus as ‘these isolated times’ tonight as he marked 150 years of England Rugby.

The Duke of Sussex, 36, appeared at the start of a film online to pay tribute to the sport in footage shot in his Montecito mansion.

In the now familiar pose sat on his sofa in front of three nest paintings, the be-suited Royal spoke of the “passion and enjoyment” of sport.

He said: ‘Rugby union has brought joy to millions of people with teams full of great characters and special players.

‘In these… isolated times, the sheer passion and enjoyment that sport offers can bring great comfort to many.

‘As proud patron of the Rugby Football Union, I join millions of supporters across the entire world in celebrating 150 years of England Rugby.’

Harry was speaking ahead of England and Scotland marking rugby’s oldest international rivalry when they meet at Twickenham on Saturday.

The game will mark the 150th anniversary of the first ever Test, which took place on March 27, 1871 in Edinburgh.

Harry, who was sporting a beard, appeared in a video posted on the England Rugby Twitter account on Friday night.

Dressed in a navy blazer and white shirt with the top two buttons open, he looked smart for the recording.

Guy Pelly, Charlie Van Straubenzee, Prince Harry and James Middleton at England v Australia

Guy Pelly, Charlie Van Straubenzee, Prince Harry and James Middleton at England v Australia

Guy Pelly, Charlie Van Straubenzee, Prince Harry and James Middleton at England v Australia

Harry and Meghan arrive at the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey in March 2020

Harry and Meghan arrive at the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey in March 2020

Harry and Meghan arrive at the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey in March 2020

The film comes just two days after it was claimed he was keen to retain his honorary military titles and spend more time in Britain.

A friend claimed ahead of the one-year review of ‘Megxit’ he wanted to keep the three patronages which he had to give up after stepping down as a senior royal last March and moving to the US.

The titles held by the 36-year-old were Captain General of the Royal Marines; Honorary Air Commandant of RAF Honington in Bury St Edmunds; and Commodore-in-Chief, Small Ships and Diving, Royal Naval Command.

Harry’s friend, who has not been named, told the Daily Telegraph: ‘His military work is one of the most important things to him. Of course he wants to keep them.’

The Duke is said to believe that he should retain the patronages, given that he spent ten years in the Army and has continuing links with the Invictus Games Foundation.

But it is understood that Harry, who married Meghan Markle in May 2018, may have to give up the titles because he does not plan to return to royal duties.

The friend added that he had always intended to regularly travel between the US and UK after moving to California, and only the pandemic has forced him to stay there.  

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