Prince Harry appeared to break Los Angeles mask rules at the Super Bowl while meeting Cedric the Entertainer backstage, as he greeted the actor having removed his face covering that he had been wearing while seated.
LA County rules state that masks must be worn by everyone regardless of vaccination status in all indoor public settings and outdoor 'mega events' with crowds of more than 5,000 people. They add that people can remove their mask while 'actively eating or drinking as long as you are sitting or standing in a specific place such as a table, counter, or ticketed seat'. Harry could be seen holding a glass, but did not seem to be in one of these areas.
NFL rules for the Super Bowl reinforced the LA rules, saying there was a 'mandatory mask requirement inside the stadium for everyone over two years of age regardless of vaccination status' unless 'actively eating or drinking'.
Harry, Eugenie and Jay Z were among the only famous faces pictured wearing masks while at the stadium - with many others including Jennifer Lopez, Ben Affleck, Kanye West, Beyonce and Rita Ora all seen without them.
Other stars spotted without masks in the stands included Katy Perry, Orlando Bloom, Kevin Hart, Rebel Wilson, Adam Devine, Charlize Theron, Matt Damon, Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds - although some were holding drinks.
Meanwhile it was also claimed Harry visited the victorious Los Angeles Rams in the locker room to congratulate his new hometown team, after their Super Bowl win which he watched in the stadium with cousin Princess Eugenie.
The other woman Harry was sat next to was LA-born singer Mila J, who was also not wearing a mask in videos she posted on Instagram. Mila J is the older sister of Jhene Aiko who performed America The Beautiful at the game.
The Duke was also wearing a mask while posing in a hospitality area with country star Mickey Guyton, who had sung the US national anthem. She tweeted a picture of them, in which Harry is wearing a suit jacket and jeans with a T-shirt and face mask. Guyton wrote: 'I met Prince Harry. He was just lovely. I even curtsied in my track suit.'
Harry, 37, sat with Eugenie, 31, in premium seats at the SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on Sunday which was part of a suite sponsored by tech firm Salesforce, one of the official partners of BetterUp, which is the San Francisco-based corporate and personal coaching company that Harry works for as 'chief impact officer'.
And Harry was said to have joined the Rams in the locker room after they beat the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 in a dramatic fourth-quarter comeback at Super Bowl LVI. Revealing the news, leading sports writer Peter King told The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz: 'The most interesting thing to me is how in LA football has been revived.
'I missed him last night but he was in the Rams' locker room. Prince Harry was in the locker room hanging out with the Rams. Cardi B was in the building last night at this party. It's just when you win in sport, there are crazy things that happen to your team. The Rams are winning, they are in LA, people love them.'
Harry's wife Meghan Markle was not at the match, but it is likely that she was at home at their $14million Montecito mansion about a two-hour drive away, looking after their children Archie, two, and eight month-old Lilibet.
Meghan's biographer Omid Scobie revealed Eugenie is visiting Los Angeles with her husband Jack Brooksbank and their son August who turned one last week, but it is not clear whether they are staying with the Sussexes.
Mr Scobie added that Harry and Eugenie were seen dancing during the half-time show as Dr Dre led a crew of all star rappers in a throwback to their community hip-hip roots. Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J Blige and Kendrick Lamar were involved in the event which saw a surprise appearance from 50 Cent in front of the 70,000 crowd.
Eugenie could also be in California as part of a work trip. She works as a director for the London branch of global art gallery Hauser and Wirth, which has a stand at this week's art fair Frieze Los Angeles starting on Thursday.
And Eugenie shared a photograph yesterday with Mr Brooksbank under blossom trees taken in an undisclosed location and an unknown time, posting on Instagram to wish her 1.5million followers 'Happy Valentine's Day'.
The Princess has become the first member of the Royal Family to make a public visit to Harry in California two years after he quit as a senior royal, as concern mounts back in Britain over the Duke's forthcoming tell-all biography overshadowing celebrations in May and June for his grandmother the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.
Some Twitter users initially mistook Eugenie for Meghan at the game, but the Duchess was not there. And royal observers said Eugenie's presence shows Harry 'is not completely out in the cold' despite the feud with his family.
Meghan is also close to Eugenie having been introduced to her before she had even met Harry, through their mutual friend Misha Nonoo. It therefore seems possible that Eugenie could be staying with the Sussexes in the US.
Harry and Eugenie will have had plenty to discuss, with the Royal Family left deeply concerned by the Duke's decision to secretly collaborate with Pulitzer-winning ghostwriter JR Moehringer on what his publishers described as 'the definitive account of the experiences, adventures, losses, and life lessons that have helped shape him'.
The Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William are said to were completely blindsided by Harry's shock announcement that he had been secretly working on his as yet untitled memoirs for more than a year now.
Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told MailOnline that Eugenie could be an 'intermediary' and suggested she could persuade Harry to alter some of the contents of the book to make it less of an attack on the royals.
And a source told MailOnline yesterday: 'Harry and Eugenie have always been close ever since they were children. He always makes her laugh. They share a sense of humour. She is friends with Meghan too, and was close to his two previous girlfriends Chelsy Davy and Cressida Bonas. It was Eugenie who helped set up Harry and Cressida. She refuses to abandon him. She is a very loyal lady. She is not one for taking sides.'
Harry stayed at Frogmore Cottage with Eugenie on the two times he has visited the UK and had to quarantine since his decision to step down as a senior royal. The Princess even backed one of Meghan's many causes, helping out in 40X40, an Archewell mentoring programme for women who want to return to work after the pandemic. And she shared an image of the Archewell website on her Instagram account to celebrate Meghan's 40th birthday.
The source added: 'With Harry's communication with the family limited Eugenie could be his one conduit to a reconciliation. But that seems a long way off. She is close to the Queen and to Harry and Meghan and their meeting shows he is not completely out in the cold.'
Harry also came under fire last week for seemingly ignoring that the Queen had moved to make his stepmother Camilla the Queen Consort when Prince Charles accedes to the throne. That was despite a source claiming Harry had extended an olive branch to his father last month in a bid to heal their rift ahead of the Jubilee celebrations.
Harry and Eugenie have been friends since childhood despite their six-year age gap and are known to still get on well despite the Duke's removal from royal public life in Britain and his repeated attacks on his wider family.
And Eugenie's visit will be viewed by some observers as a potential effort to rebuild broken bridges between Harry and the rest of the family - with an important series of royal occasions coming up over the next few months.
These include a service of thanksgiving for Prince Philip at Westminster Abbey on March 29, a year after his death aged 99, and events to mark the Jubilee most notably in Windsor on May 12 to 15 and in London on June 2 to 5.
Prince Harry appeared to break Los Angeles mask rules at the Super Bowl while meeting Cedric the Entertainer backstage at the Super Bowl on Sunday, as he greeted the actor having removed his face covering that he had been wearing while seated
Harry and Eugenie wore masks to attend the game which saw the Los Angeles Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday
Prince Harry and cousin Princess Eugenie are pictured enjoying Sunday's Super Bowl at the SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles
Eugenie and Prince Harry are known to get on well, and Meghan actually knew the Princess before she had even met Harry
Prince Harry was also sat next to LA singer Mila J (right), the older sister of Jhene Aiko who performed America The Beautiful
Country singer Mickey Guyton shared a photo after meeting Prince Harry at the Super Bowl after singing the national anthem
Harry and Eugenie are thought to have been watching the game from the seats highlighted in red (top left and top right)
The Los Angeles Rams celebrate after winning Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium in the city on Sunday
Princess Eugenie has shared an adorable photograph with her husband Jack Brooksbank (pictured) to mark Valentine's Day online - after appearing in LA with Prince Harry
Television cameras spot Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez attending the Super Bowl together and not wearing masks
Rita Ora posted this picture on Instagram of her with Taika Waititi at the Super Bowl in Los Angeles, both not wearing masks
Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom pose for a photograph together at the Super Bowl in Los Angeles, both not wearing masks
Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi are seen maskless during the Super Bowl but are both holding drinks
Comedian and actor Kevin Hart attends Super Bowl LVI between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals
Rebel Wilson and Adam Devine attend Super Bowl LVI Pregame at SoFi Stadium and pose for a photo without wearing masks
Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds pose for a photograph as they attend the Super Bowl together in Los Angeles
NBA player LeBron James attends Super Bowl LVI between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals
Charlize Theron and Matt Damon attend Super Bowl LVI between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals
Drake also watched the game from luxury seats at the stadium in Los Angeles
Floyd Mayweather attend the game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LVI
Harry and Meghan are not thought to have had any royal visitors to California since departing London shortly before the first coronavirus lockdown in March 2020 and setting up their home in the Montecito mansion.
And Eugenie is the first member of the Royal Family to visit Harry publicly since what became known as 'Megxit' when the couple moved to North America. The Duchess has not returned to the UK since they left the country.
What are the mask rules in Los Angeles County?
In Los Angeles County, everyone aged at least two years old must wear a mask in all indoor public places and at outdoor 'mega events' with more than 5,000 people, whether they have been vaccinated or not.
The official rules state that masks must be worn:
- In all indoor public settings, venues, gatherings, and public and private businesses in Los Angeles County
- On planes, trains, buses, ferries, taxis and ride-shares, and all other forms of public transport
- In transportation hubs like airports, bus terminals, train stations, marinas, seaports or other ports, subway stations, or any other area that provides transportation.
- In healthcare settings (including long-term care facilities)
- In state and local correctional facilities and detention centers
- Shelters and cooling centers • Indoors at any youth-serving facility (such as TK-12 schools, childcare, day camps, etc.)
- At outdoor Mega Events (events with over 5,000 attendees like concerts, sports games, and parades)
- In any other outdoor location where it is the policy of the business or venue
The County also issues the following recommendations on mask wearing:
- It is strongly recommended that you wear a mask at private indoor social gatherings with people outside your household unless everyone at the gathering is fully vaccinated and has recently tested negative.
- It is strongly recommended that you wear a mask at crowded outdoor events (that are smaller than Mega Events). Wear a mask while in line to enter, exit, use the bathroom, or buy food or drinks.
- It is strongly recommended that children wear a mask on playgrounds and in other outdoor spaces where they gather if distancing is not possible or practical. If you are not fully vaccinated, it is strongly recommended that you wear a mask in crowded outdoor settings.
- If you are in a setting where you are in sustained close contact with other people who may not be fully vaccinated, consider wearing a higher level of protection, such as wearing two masks (double masking) or an N95 respirator. This is especially important if you are not fully vaccinated and are in an indoor or crowded outdoor setting.
However there are also the following exemptions for when you are allowed to take off your mask:
- Actively eating or drinking as long as you are sitting or standing in a specific place such as a table, counter, or ticketed seat. This means that you can briefly remove your mask when you are actually eating or drinking but you must put it back on immediately afterwards. You must also wear a mask when you are waiting to be served, between courses or drinks, and while seated after finishing your food or drink.
- Alone in a separate room or space.
- Showering or swimming.
- Receiving personal hygiene or personal care services (like a facial or shave) that cannot be done without removing your mask.
The NFL also issued the following rules for anyone attending the Super Bowl on Sunday:
Fans will be required to comply with all LA County COVID-19 health and safety protocols to enter the Super Bowl LVI campus at SoFi Stadium. Updated protocols include, but are not limited to, a mandatory mask requirement INSIDE THE STADIUM for EVERYONE over 2 years of age regardless of vaccination status. Requirements are outlined below:
Gameday Entry Requirements*
- Attendees age 5+ must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative PCR test within 48 hours or negative antigen (rapid) test within 24 hours of the game.
- If unvaccinated, you must obtain your negative test prior to arriving on campus.
- Attendees 18+ are required to display government issued ID along with their vaccine verification or proof of negative test.
- Certification of prior COVID-19 infection does not exempt attendees from the vaccination or negative test verification requirement.
- If using the CLEAR HEALTH PASS App for vaccine verification, an ID is not required.
- All attendees age 2+ are required to wear a face covering in SoFi Stadium or at the Tailgate party (invite only) except while actively eating or drinking, regardless of vaccination status.
- Masks are required at all times on NFL charter and fan shuttles.
*Protocols may change according to then-current public health guidance and applicable law
But Harry has been back twice – and visited Eugenie at her Frogmore Cottage home in Windsor last April when he flew home for Philip's funeral. He had previously lived there with Meghan following their marriage at the castle.
The Duke also quarantined with Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank last summer when returning to unveil the statue of his late mother Princess Diana at Kensington Palace in London with his brother Prince William in July.
The presence of Harry and Eugenie at the Super Bowl - which also hosted the likes of Jay Z, Ryan Reynolds, LeBron James, Kevin Hart, Charlize Theron, Rebel Wilson, Ellen DeGeneres and more - was announced by the NFL, whose UK Twitter account shared a photo of them and wrote: 'Prince Harry and Princess Eugenie in the house at #SBLVI.'
The Duke, who showed no allegiance to either side despite the Rams becoming his local team when he moved to California, wore a white T-shirt and dark jacket and was seen resting his shoes on a barrier in front of him.
Harry and Eugenie were two of the few famous faces pictured wearing masks while sat down - with others such as Jennifer Lopez, Ben Affleck, Kanye West, Beyonce and Rita Ora all seen without them. It could be as a result of Harry's concerns over the Covid-19 situation after his father Prince Charles was diagnosed with the virus last week.
Eugenie paired her mask with a baseball hat, jeans and a blazer, and had a bottle of Aquafina water on the barrier in front of her. Harry also had a glass in front of him on the barrier but its contents could not be seen.
Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told MailOnline today: 'When last July, it was announced by Penguin Random House that Harry would be writing a memoir to be published in late 2022, the year of his grandmother's Platinum Jubilee, it caused shock. This surely was too soon and very badly timed.
'According to Harry in the publisher's press release, 'I am writing this not as the prince I was born but as the man I have become'. He claimed it would also be 'accurate and wholly truthful' which brings to mind the many inaccuracies and controversial claims he and Meghan made during their interview with Oprah.
'This also meant that, with a serious rift between the once inseparable brothers and with the royal family, it would be impossible to communicate with the Sussexes in the interim without the possibility of finding whatever was said appearing in print.
'To choose the Platinum Jubilee anyway was partly a commercial decision and the memoir is bound to be serialised. However this year is unique in our history. Harry values his relationship with the Queen, now nearly 96.
'He is rightly proud of his service during two tours of Afghanistan as well as founding the Invictus Games. Surely whatever he privately feels, he ought not to cause more trouble for the institution he was born into at such a time.
'When there is a rift, you need an intermediary. Eugenie, who attended the Super Bowl with him, knew Meghan before her marriage and she and her husband Jack Brooksbank are reportedly close to the Sussexes who have given them the use of Frogmore Cottage which is their base in Britain.
'Is there a chance that she might help in healing the rift? If we accept that the memoir is certain to be published, it's contents might surely be altered.
'Could Eugenie persuade Harry that, as the interview on Oprah did so much damage, a further attack on the monarchy in year like this, would be desperately ill-judged?
'It would be regarded with disdain in Britain, which he may well visit if he takes part in the celebrations in June.
'In America, given the respect for the Queen, it might be regarded a great deal less charitably than the Oprah interview was and that could harm his and Meghan's future prospects.'
Harry and Eugenie grew up at the same time playing in parks and went on family ski holidays together due to the close bond between their mothers Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson. This led to a strong friendship that continues today - with Eugenie seen as one of Harry's allies within the Royal Family.
'Out of all the Queen's grandchildren, Harry and Eugenie have one of the most natural connections,' Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand wrote in the Sussex biography Finding Freedom. The book also describes them as the 'closest of friends'.
'Like Harry, Eugenie is loyal, honest and great fun,' the book continues. 'The two had many nights out together in London, sneaking into back entrances of clubs, such as Mahiki, where Jack once was manager, or Tonteria, where in one of the VIP cave areas they downed shots from Mexican skull shaped glasses and a giant frozen margarita (with multiple straws).'
Harry has always confided in Eugenie and she was said to have been among the first to know about his relationship with Meghan, whom she already knew through their mutual friend Misha Nonoo.
'Not only did he trust her implicitly, but friends said that she gives great advice and has always been 'beyond wise' for her years,' Scobie and Durant wrote.
Prince Harry and Princess Eugenie have been friends since childhood, and are pictured at Buckingham Palace in 2012
Prince Harry and Princess Eugenie at a service of thanksgiving for Princess Diana at The Guards' Chapel in London in 2007
Eugenie and Mr Brooksbank, who married in October 2018, just six months after Harry and Meghan, went on double dates with the couple in Toronto and London.
The NFL's UK Twitter account shared a photo of Harry and Eugenie during Sunday's Super Bowl and wrote: 'Prince Harry and Princess Eugenie in the house at #SBLVI'
The Princess and her then-boyfriend were at a party at Soho House in Toronto in 2016 when Harry and the Suits star were first seen together. Eugenie was instrumental in keeping their relationship secret.
In the explosive tell-all Oprah Winfrey interview, in which Harry and Meghan criticised the Royal Family, Eugenie was singled out for praise.
Meghan said: 'Eugenie and I had known each other before I had known Harry, so that was comfortable [...] We're friends with them as a couple.'
The Sussexes, Eugenie and Jack were all guests at Misha Nonoo's lavish Rome wedding in the summer of 2019.
They also have mutual friends in singer Ellie Goulding and George and Amal Clooney, who were guests at Harry and Meghan's nuptials. Jack is European Director of Casamigos, the tequila brand co-founded by George.
Harry and Eugenie's relationship was said to have also survived any possible strain in 2018 when he and Meghan allegedly told senior royals they were expecting their first child together at Eugenie and Mr Brooksbank's wedding. The official announcement came just days later.
Harry attended the match two years after he stepped down as a senior royal with Meghan in early 2020.
Justin Bieber, Hailey Bieber and Kendall Jenner attend Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles
Jay Z and Beyonce were also at the Super Bowl in California and were seen dancing during the half-time show
They are now carving out a niche for themselves with deals worth tens of millions of pounds to produce content for Netflix and also have a deal with podcast company Spotify.
ANALYSIS: Could Eugenie help in healing the rift?
By royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams
When last July, it was announced by Penguin Random House that Harry would be writing a memoir to be published in late 2022, the year of his grandmother's Platinum Jubilee, it caused shock. This surely was too soon and very badly timed!
According to Harry in the publishers press release, 'I am writing this not as the prince I was born but as the man I have become'. He claimed it would also be 'accurate and wholly truthful' which brings to mind the many inaccuracies and controversial claims he and Meghan made during their interview with Oprah.
This also meant that, with a serious rift between the once inseparable brothers and with the royal family, it would be impossible to communicate with the Sussexes in the interim without the possibility of finding whatever was said appearing in print. To choose the Platinum Jubilee anyway was partly a commercial decision and the memoir is bound to be serialised. However this year is unique in our history. Harry values his relationship with the Queen, now nearly 96.
He is rightly proud of his service during two tours of Afghanistan as well as founding the Invictus Games. Surely whatever he privately feels, he ought not to cause more trouble for the institution he was born into at such a time. When there is a rift, you need an intermediary. Eugenie, who attended the Super Bowl with him, knew Meghan before her marriage and she and her husband Jack Brooksbank are reportedly close to the Sussexes who have given them the use of Frogmore Cottage which is their base in Britain.
Is there a chance that she might help in healing the rift? If we accept that the memoir is certain to be published, it's contents might surely be altered. Could Eugenie persuade Harry that, as the interview on Oprah did so much damage, a further attack on the monarchy in year like this, would be desperately ill-judged? It would be regarded with disdain in Britain, which he may well visit if he takes part in the celebrations in June. In America, given the respect for the Queen, it might be regarded a great deal less charitably than the Oprah interview was and that could harm his and Meghan's future prospects.
Harry is also set to publicly spill all on his relationship with his estranged family in an explosive $20million memoir due to be published later this year after he collaborated with Pulitzer-winning ghostwriter JR Moehringe.
The book is set to be released during his 95-year-old grandmother the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, celebrating 75 years since she ascended to the throne, and also comes a year after his grandfather Prince Philip died aged 99.
Earlier this month, Harry made an appearance plugging his employer, mental health startup BetterUp. He spoke on a virtual panel alongside the company's chief executive Alexi Robichaux and Meghan's friend, Serena Williams.
Meanwhile, the royal family is battling scandal surrounding Eugenie's disgraced father Prince Andrew, who is facing a civil rape claim in the United States from Jeffrey Epstein's victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre.
Andrew denies the charges against him. He retired from public life in the wake of a disastrous TV interview in 2019, and faced further disgrace after his close friend Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted of being a paedophile last year.
The disgraced prince was also stripped of his military titles and royal patronages by the Queen. Andrew, 61, must now fight the claims of rape and sexual assault in the US courts as a private citizen.
Meanwhile ehe 56th running of the NFL's showpiece event saw home team the Rams taking on the Bengals. The half-time show was also a home event for Lamar, Dre and his protege Snoop, all of whom are from Southern California.
The pair kicked off the performance with a rendition of their collaborative song The Next Episode, performed on top of a white community housing set complete with low rider cars.
A performance of west coast rap anthem California Love followed, with Dre singing the lyrics to song by the late Tupac Shakur, another of his rap disciples, while scores of dancers performed in front of the stage.
In a unexpected twist, rapper 50 cent, real name Curtis Jackson, appeared hanging upside down before joining the party with a performance of his hit song In Da Club.
R&B queen Mary J Blige followed, showing off her incredible vocal range as she performed on top of the set roofs alongside slickly choreographed dancers in sparkling one piece costumes.
Lamar followed with his own crowd of group of dancers dressed in all black suits, wearing sashes reading 'Dre Day'.
Finally, Eminem appeared and treated crowds in the capacity stadium to a rendition of Lose Yourself. The crew reassembled on the roof for a final performance of Still Dre.
The Super Bowl, one of the biggest cultural events in the US, featured the usual Hollywood star power, with blockbuster film trailers and celebrity-filled adverts appearing during the many commercial breaks.
American model Emily Ratajkowski poses for a photograph at the Super Bowl
Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Dr Dre, Mary J. Blige, 50 Cent and Snoop Dogg delighted Los Angeles with the half-time show
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson had a public presence at the Super Bowl as he appeared on the field ahead of the game
Jay Z is joined by his daughter Blue Ivy on the field at the Super Bowl in Los Angeles
USA soccer player Alex Morgan is pictured sitting in the stands at the Super Bowl
A 30-second slot at this year's Super Bowl reportedly costed about £5million.
This year's offering saw Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd team up for a humorous crisps advert, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Salma Hayek become Greek Gods to sell BMWs, and original cast members of the Sopranos recreate their famous opening credits for Chevrolet.
Mike Myers also reprised his role as dastardly comic villain Dr Evil for an Austin Powers themed sketch to promote electric vehicles.
The Super Bowl was opened by actor Dwayne Johnson, who channelled his former pro-wrestler persona The Rock to welcome the world to the game.
Gordon Ramsay is pictured leaving the stadium in Los Angeles following the Super Bowl
American rapper Doja Cat and her entourage leave the stadium in Los Angeles following the Super Bowl
American rapper Megan Thee Stallion leaves the Super Bowl after the showpiece event in Los Angeles
Shawn Mendes leaves the Super Bowl with his face mask in hand following the game in Los Angeles
Leonardo DiCaprio (face covered with a mask) and Tobey Maguire (right) leave the Super Bowl as they keep a low profile
The six artists performed for the half-time show in and on a white structure built to look like a series of apartments or clubs
The Los Angeles Rams celebrate after defeating the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex in New York City in September last year. Harry was at the match but Meghan was not
Prince Andrew and Virginia Roberts stand together with Ghislaine Maxwell in the background in London on March 13, 2001