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Prince Harry officially opens the Cricket World Cup

Prince Harry beamed as he officially opened the Cricket World Cup in London today.

The Duke of Sussex, 34, delivered a short speech to a packed crowd at the Kia Oval before watching England take on South Africa in the opening match.

But just minutes into the tie England – who are favourites to win the tournament – suffered an early blow when they lost a wicket in the second ball.

The Duke of Sussex, 34, delivered a short speech to a packed crowd at the Kia Oval before watching England take on South Africa in the opening match of the Cricket World Cup 

The Duke of Sussex speaks to youngsters selected as Anthem Children from the Cricket World Cup youth engagement programme before giving his speech at the Oval this morning

The Duke of Sussex speaks to youngsters selected as Anthem Children from the Cricket World Cup youth engagement programme before giving his speech at the Oval this morning

Minutes into the match tournament favourites England lost a wicket to South Africa. Pictured, South African stars Quinton De Kock and Hashim Amla celebrate behind Jonny  Bairstow

Minutes into the match tournament favourites England lost a wicket to South Africa. Pictured, South African stars Quinton De Kock and Hashim Amla celebrate behind Jonny  Bairstow

New father Prince Harry walks across the field during the opening ceremony of the Cricket World Cup. The royal, a keen sports fan, delivered a speech wishing all the teams good luck

New father Prince Harry walks across the field during the opening ceremony of the Cricket World Cup. The royal, a keen sports fan, delivered a speech wishing all the teams good luck 

Prince Harry stands beneath giant cricket balls printed with the flags of the competing nations

Prince Harry stands beneath giant cricket balls printed with the flags of the competing nations

The royal then took to the stands to watch the first match between England and South Africa

The royal then took to the stands to watch the first match between England and South Africa

Ahead of his appearance Prince Harry met youngsters and flag bearers who were chosen to take part in the short opening ceremony. 

He spent time chatting and joking with group before making his way out to deliver his speech from a podium next to the trophy. 

The royal told fans he was ‘delighted’ the tournament had returned to the UK and wished good luck to all 10 teams competing.

He continued: ‘Thanks to the UK’s cultural diversity, will feel as though they are competing in front of a home crowd every time they take to the field.  

‘Cities across England and Wales will come alive over the next six weeks as World Cup fever sweeps the nation once more.  

The prince, who welcomed son Archie this month, appeared in excellent spirits as he spent time with schoolchildren ahead of the match between England and South Africa

The prince, who welcomed son Archie this month, appeared in excellent spirits as he spent time with schoolchildren ahead of the match between England and South Africa

The prince delivered a speech wishing good luck to all teams

The royal told fans he was 'delighted' the tournament had returned to the UK and wished good luck to the 10 teams competing.

In his speech (left), the royal told fans he was ‘delighted’ the tournament had returned to the UK and wished good luck to the 10 teams competing. Right, Harry at the Oval today

The Duke of Sussex told the crowd they 'don't want to miss' any of the action this summer

The Duke of Sussex told the crowd they ‘don’t want to miss’ any of the action this summer

Prince Harry delivered his speech from the centre of the field next to the trophy, pictured

Prince Harry delivered his speech from the centre of the field next to the trophy, pictured

‘I’m sure the players will show their appreciation with some fantastic performances and great sportsmanship.’

He added: ‘Here’s to a brilliant six weeks of sport and trust me, you won’t want to miss any of it.’

The royal, a keen sports fan, is staying to watch part of the match between England and South Africa.

The next match will be played tomorrow between Pakistan and the West Indes at Trent Bridge, Nottingham.

Prince Harry shared a light-hearted moment with a group of 'Anthem Children' at the event

Prince Harry shared a light-hearted moment with a group of ‘Anthem Children’ at the event

The royal, who is father to baby Archie, had fun chatting to schoolchildren before the match

The royal, who is father to baby Archie, had fun chatting to schoolchildren before the match

The duke could not resist stoking the rivalry between England and Australia ahead of the tournament on Wednesday when the team captains met at Buckingham Palace.

Harry jokingly needled Australia’s captain Aaron Finch asking him ‘You’re getting on a bit now, aren’t you? How long have you been playing?’ making the batsman laugh.

The Queen also met the group of world-class bowlers, batters and all-rounders who later joined a palace garden party. 

Harry, who became a father for the first time earlier this month, will watch part of the match before leaving.

Prince Harry speaks to a flag bearer as he attends the opening match of the Cricket World Cup

Prince Harry speaks to a flag bearer as he attends the opening match of the Cricket World Cup

The Duke of Cambridge met young people selected to carry the flags  of competing nations

The Duke of Cambridge met young people selected to carry the flags  of competing nations

The prince shared a joke with one of the flag bearers before making his way to the field

The prince shared a joke with one of the flag bearers before making his way to the field

Careful to speak to as many people as possible, the royal looked engaged as he spoke to a schoolgirl

Careful to speak to as many people as possible, the royal looked engaged as he spoke to a schoolgirl 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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