The charming and down to earth HRH Prince Harry proved a huge hit with schoolchildren at Headingley Carnegie Stadium, home of the Leeds Rhinos.

the Sky Try Rugby League Festival in Leeds. 

His royal two-day visit to West Yorkshire saw both the sun and people come out for the Prince in his first engagement in his new role as patron of the Rugby Football League.

At the Sky Try Rugby League Festival – part of a drive to get 700,000 children playing rugby league, eight and nine-year-olds from Leeds primary schools took part in seven-a-side games of touch rugby led by coaches from the Leeds Rhinos Foundation. 

Also in attendance were Leeds Rhinos legend Kevin Sinfield, St Helens great Paul Sculthorpe and the current England captain, Wigan’s Sean O’Loughlin.

His Royal Highness was also a guest at the Leeds Leads: Encouraging Happy Young Minds event hosted by the Leeds Community Foundation at Aspire in the city centre.

He was again mobbed with well-wishers as he attended the event that brought together several mental health projects which have helped young people locally in celebration of their work.

The Prince has spoken candidly about his own mental health battles in recent months and, along with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, worked to highlight the issue.

In a speech at the event, Harry told the audience: “I cannot tell you how pleased William, Catherine and I am that the dial seems to have shifted and that there is now greater understanding, compassion and kindness for anyone who opens up about their struggles.

The 32-year-old reiterated his commitment to encouraging people to speak out and seek help for their mental health problems.

On his second day in the region as he visited a family home of a five-year-old Leeds boy as part of his role as patron of the WellChild charity.

The boy will receive a garden makeover as part of the organisation’s Helping Hands programme which will be transform his garden into an active outdoor space suited to his condition and disability.

He then visited Leeds Children’s Hospitall meeting WellChild nurse Helen Tooby and a group of children and families who have been her patients.

He finished his time at the Haribo sweet factory in Castleford where he met staff and saw how the products are made.