The Duke of Sussex has relinquished his roles as a patron of the Rugby Football Union and Rugby Football League.

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The announcements come after Harry and wife Meghan confirmed they will not be returning as working members of the royal family.

Harry, a passionate rugby fan who celebrated with England when they won the rugby union World Cup in 2003, has acted as an RFU patron since 2016.

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“We would like to thank Prince Harry for his time and commitment to the Rugby Football Union both in his position as patron and vice patron,” an RFU statement read.

“The RFU has greatly valued his contribution to promoting and supporting the game.

“We look forward to welcoming the Duke and Duchess of Sussex back to Twickenham at some point in the future.”

Harry became a patron of the RFL in 2017 and conducted the draw for the 2021 World Cup in the 13-man code.

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The RFL tweeted: “The Rugby Football League thanks the Duke of Sussex for his time, care and commitment in supporting rugby league at all levels in recent years – from the children’s game to the Challenge Cup, the England teams and RLWC2021.”

Through a spokesman, Harry and Meghan said that they remained committed to service.

“We can all live a life of service. Service is universal, the spokesman said.

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“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex remain committed to their duty and service to the U.K. and around the world, and have offered their continued support to the organisations they have represented regardless of official role.”

Harry, 36, and Meghan, 39, moved with their son Archie to Southern California to live a more independent life and escape the British media. They announced on Sunday that they were expecting their second child.

Harry is the second son of Prince Charles, heir to the throne, and his first wife Diana, who died in a Paris car crash in 1997 while being chased by paparazzi.

additional reporting AAP

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