Prince Harry joins sport and philanthropy summit in Tokyo

Prince Harry waves to crowd as he joins sport and philanthropy summit in Tokyo

  • Duke of Sussex is at ISPS Sports Values Summit ‘Special Edition’ in Tokyo today 
  • He will then travel to Singapore for fundraising Sentebale Polo Cup this Saturday

Prince Harry smiled and waved to an audience in Tokyo today as he attended a summit about sport, community and philanthropy during a trip to Japan.

The Duke of Sussex was attending the ISPS (International Sports Promotion Society) Sports Values Summit ‘Special Edition’, one day after arriving at Haneda Airport.

Harry – who is in Japan without his wife Meghan Markle and children Archie, four, and Lilibet, two – will travel to Singapore later this week for his fundraising Sentebale Polo Cup on Saturday, which he has said will help young people affected by HIV/Aids.

Today, the Duke joined a panel discussion at the summit with ex-New Zealand rugby player Dan Carter, an ambassador for ISPS Handa which is sponsoring his polo cup.

Harry appeared delighted to be at the event, gleefully acknowledging the watching crowd as he was welcomed on stage by ISPS Handa’s founder Haruhisa Handa.

Also present today were Sentebale chairwoman Sophie Chandauka; Royal Australian Navy Veteran and Invictus Games gold medallist Steve James; and Professor Wim de Villiers, the rector and vice-chancellor of South Africa’s Stellenbosch University.

It comes a day after Harry beamed while walking through Haneda Airport among other passengers, wearing a dark cap bearing the logo of his Archewell Foundation.

Prince Harry laughs today at the ISPS Sports Values Summit ‘Special Edition’ in Tokyo, Japan

The Duke of Sussex at the summit in Tokyo today about sport, community and philanthropy 

The Duke of Sussex is greeted by ISPS Handa’s founder Haruhisa Handa in Tokyo today

Prince Harry is welcomed today by ISPS Handa’s founder Haruhisa Handa in Tokyo, Japan

The Duke of Sussex stands alongside ISPS Handa’s founder Haruhisa Handa in Tokyo today

The audience watches as Prince Harry is seen on large screens at the summit in Tokyo today

One reporter could be heard off camera asking Harry: ‘How do you like to be in Japan for the first time in four years?’ And he replied: ‘Good to see you again.’

READ MORE Prince Harry tells waiting media ‘it’s good to see you again’ as he arrives in Tokyo without Meghan Markle: Duke walks through airport crowds with polo-playing friend Nacho Figueras in his first visit to Japan in four years to attend philanthropy summit

A video broadcast on Japanese TV network ANN News showed Harry arriving at the terminal alongside his long-time friend, Argentinian polo player Nacho Figueras.

Omid Scobie, co-author of the controversial Harry and Meghan biography Finding Freedom, tweeted a video of the Duke’s arrival in Tokyo yesterday just after 1.30pm UK time.

He added: ‘Lots of fans waiting for Harry in arrivals. The Royal Family have always had a big following in Japan (especially Princess Diana) and interest in the Sussexes continues to be strong. Fun fact: Finding Freedom is one of the few royal books to get a full Japanese release!’

It is not known which flight Harry landed on, but there were several services arriving from Los Angeles in Tokyo yesterday afternoon – including the 5.25pm local time American Airlines flight, a 3.25pm United flight and a 2.20pm American Airlines flight.

One fan who waited all morning at the airport for the Duke told Japan’s Asahi News : ‘It was a pity we didn’t get to shake hands, but I was really touched.’

The royal fanatic said they had also been to England for Harry and Meghan’s wedding in 2018, and had seen Prince William at Haneda Airport on his visit in 2015.

They then weighed in on Harry stepping down as a senior royal, saying: ‘I thought it would be better for him [Harry] to be with the royal family… so I think that’s a difficult problem.’

This Saturday, Harry will stage the Sentebale Polo Cup in Singapore on Saturday, with the money raised used to support the organisation’s clubs and camps programme, which provides psychosocial support to young people living with HIV.

Prince Harry smiles as he walks through the terminal at Haneda Airport in Tokyo yesterday

Harry wears a cap bearing the Archewell Foundation logo as he arrives in Tokyo yesterday

Harry arrives at Haneda Airport yesterday with his friend, polo player Nacho Figueras (left)

The Duke arrives in Japan yesterday ahead of his attendance at the ISPS Sports Values Summit

Speaking last month, Harry said: ‘The annual Polo Cup is essential to Sentebale’s vital work ensuring children and young people are healthy, resilient, and able to thrive.

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‘The funds raised this year will support our clubs and camps programme, which provides intensive psychosocial support to young people living with HIV.

‘In a time where being HIV positive is no longer a death sentence, we are empowering young people to know their status, stay healthy, and eliminate the stigma so that they can break the cycle.’

Since 2010, the annual polo cup has raised more than £11million to support Sentebale’s work with children and young people affected by poverty, inequality and HIV/Aids in southern Africa.

The Duke will play on the Royal Salute Sentebale team, against the Singapore Polo Club team captained by the charity’s ambassador Mr Figueras.

Sentebale was founded by Harry and Lesotho’s Prince Seeiso in 2006 to help the most vulnerable children and young people in southern Africa receive support to lead healthy and productive lives.

It first began working in Leosotho before expanding its efforts into Botswana and operates in four key areas: strengthening the social and emotional wellbeing of those living with or affected by HIV; helping to provide access to health and social services; driving youth advocacy and building individuals’ skills and livelihoods.

Harry was last in Japan nearly four years ago in November 2019, attending the Rugby World Cup Final between England and South Africa in Yokohama.

He also spoke with Japan’s Crown Prince Akishino at the match, and met wheelchair rugby players at the Para Arena in Tokyo. He was still a working royal at the time.

Harry was last in Japan in 2019 when he attended the Rugby World Cup Final in Yokohama

During the trip to Japan in November 2019, Harry also spoke with wheelchair rugby athletes

Harry’s arrival in Japan follows claims that Netflix executives have paid £3million for the film rights to a romantic novel that the Sussexes will produce for the streaming service as part of their £80million deal.

READ MORE Prince Harry is still ‘best friends’ with cousins Beatrice and Eugenie and his fallout with William and King Charles has been ‘really stressful’ for the Princesses, source tells People

Initial reports suggested the couple had personally stumped up the money for Carley Fortune’s The Meet Me At The Lake, which echoes their personal story and includes a character whose parent dies in a car crash.

However, an insider has now told Page Six it was Netflix itself that purchased the rights for them to produce a film adaptation under their Archewell Productions arm.

The source described the book as ‘right up their alley’ because they ‘love love stories and rom-coms’. The Sussexes famously wanted to tell their own ‘love story’ in their bombshell 2022 Netflix documentary ‘Harry & Meghan.’

The US-based outlet also reported that the couple have been restructuring their team following the departure of producer Ben Browning – former head of internal content at Archewell Productions and oversaw the documentary.

They have reportedly parted ways with Archewell’s senior vice-president of scripted television, Nishika Kumble, after less than two years in the role.

PR guru Mark Borkowski believes the financial backers of the Netflix adaptation overpaid because the Sussexes ‘have zero track record in drama or producing anything of consequence’.

Penguin Random House, the publisher of Harry’s global bestseller Spare, ‘probably’ helped do the deal because Penguin also put out Meet Me At The Lake, he said. 

Harry arrived in Japan today with Argentinian polo player Nacho Figueras. They are pictured together at the Sentebale Polo Cup 2022 on August 25 last year in Aspen, Colorado

Author Carley Fortune, who is a big fan of Meghan’s, calls her book a ‘love letter to Toronto’ – where Meghan filmed hit series Suits. The duchess could have a personal connection with Ms Fortune, who worked as a journalist in the city for many years.

READ MORE Netflix executives ‘paid £3m’ for film rights to romantic novel that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will produce for streaming service as part of their £80m deal

Mr Borkowski told MailOnline that he believes that the adaptation is a ‘playbook’ attempt by Harry and Meghan to resurrect their media careers after multiple deals collapsed and business interests flopped. 

‘They are so far off the radar’, he said. Mr Borkowski added that the timing of the announcement, with lots of negativity around the couple, made him ‘suspect there is more to this than meets the eye’.

He said: ‘They need to do something. According to Tom Bower they fell out with the Beckhams. Harry was forced to cold shoulder Becks because of Meghan’s position on Victoria.

‘The rights for this could have cost up to £3million. Although, if it’s a best-seller, you wouldn’t be handing it to Harry and Meghan. There’s some amazing drama producers out there. Why would you give away a prize asset?’ 

MailOnline has asked Penguin Random House to comment.

The adaptation will be the Sussexes’ first attempt at producing a fiction hit as part of a multimillion-pound Netflix deal which is reportedly under threat. 

The author of the novel is a fan of the Sussexes and has said she was left in tears watching their wedding in 2018.

Ms Fortune, a Canadian writer and journalist based in Toronto, woke up at 4am to watch the royal wedding at St George’s Chapel in Windsor as the Sussexes tied the knot in 2018.

Author Carley Fortune with the cover of her book Meet Me At The Lake. Netflix executives have paid £3million for the film rights to the romantic novel that Harry and Meghan will produce

Carley Fortune is a journalist and author. Her fans have said they hope her novel remains set in Canada and not moved to the US when it makes it to the big screen

After seeing the duchess in her wedding gown designed by Clare Waight Keller, she tweeted: ‘Meghan Markle is pulling up to the chapel and I am feeling very teary! Maybe it’s the 4am start.’

Meet Me At The Lake, her second novel, is set in Ontario and the city of Toronto.

It is said to have captured the Sussexes’ imaginations – perhaps due to Meghan’s connection to the Canadian city, which is where she lived when she was filming Suits.

An insider told the Sun: ‘The themes of the book gripped the couple and it was chosen for their first adaptation with Netflix.’

Although Ms Fortune has not yet commented on the reported deal, it is thought she will be pleased to have handed over the rights to the duke and duchess.

Meet Me At The Lake is the New York Times bestselling author’s second novel, about two people who fall in love after a chance encounter several years after they first met

The author and mother-of-two has revealed she is a fan of Suits, and previously shared on Twitter that she was binge-watching the legal drama, which was Meghan’s big break in the entertainment industry.

Shortly before Harry and Meghan tied the knot, Fortune tweeted: ‘I’m binging my way through Suits. I felt a bit sheepish about it at first but I’ve decided to own my fandom. SUITS ROCKS, YOU GUYS! (I think that Meghan Markle is going places).’

Despite knowing that royal life was not ‘a world they wanted for their family’, as a friend has claimed, Harry and Meghan have faced some hard realities since they left to bring up their children away from the limelight of the Firm. 

Having signed major multi-million pound deals with giants Netflix and Spotify, as well as Harry’s own book deal, they have since faced hurdles including the loss of the Spotify partnership.

On Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding day, Ms Fortune revealed she’d woken up at 4am to watch the ceremony on TV and said it had left her ‘teary’

Meghan hosted a series of her Archetype podcast on the platform, but it has not been renewed by the streaming service and the couple announced in June they had ‘mutually’ agreed to part ways. They have also struggled to break into Hollywood, despite Meghan’s background as an actress in Suits.

Although their docuseries Harry and Meghan was watched extensively all over the world, experts say their brand is a tricky one to sell, due to the drama surrounding them raising clients’ expectations.

But Harry is currently working on a series based around the Invictus Games, which he set up as an opportunity for ex-service people to compete in sports in a similar way to the Paralympics or Commonwealth games. Heart of Invictus is expected to be released on Netflix later this year.

Last Wednesday, Harry and Meghan put on a united front in their garden as they appeared in a video about working with young people to improve the digital world.

The Duke and Duchess surprised US recipients of the first Responsible Technology Youth Power Fund (RTYPF) grants with phone calls to congratulate them.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex put on a united front in their garden last Wednesday as they appeared in a video about working with young people to improve the digital world

Harry, 38, also mentioned their children Archie, four, and Lilibet, two, telling one winner in a call: ‘Thank you for doing everything that you do. Our kids especially are incredibly grateful.’ Meghan, 41, then added: ‘They don’t know it yet, but they will!’

It comes after the couple’s Spotify tie-up ended in June and concerns were raised over the future of their Netflix deal, while Harry’s green travel project Travalyst made a major announcement about a big revamp in May without mentioning him.

Also in June, a YouGov survey found Meghan’s popularity had sunk to -47, which is the lowest since polling her favourability began in 2017, while Harry’s fell to -36.

The couple are expected to attend the Invictus Games in Düsseldorf together next month for the events between September 9 and 16. It is not yet known whether the couple will visit the UK during their time abroad. 

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