The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are to attend the annual WellChild Awards next week, Buckingham Palace said.

It will be Harry and Meghan’s first joint engagement in the UK since they returned from their official tour of Africa, and since they both launched legal action against sections of the British press.

The Sussexes will be at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London on Tuesday October 15 to praise the courage of seriously ill children and their families, and thank those who care for and support them.

The couple will attend WellChild’s pre-ceremony reception where they will meet the young winners of each award category and their families, and the nominated healthcare professionals.

Harry, patron of WellChild, will present the Award for Most Inspirational Child aged four to six, and deliver a speech.

The duke has started legal proceedings against the publishers of The Sun and the Daily Mirror newspapers over alleged phone hacking.

Meanwhile, Meghan is suing The Mail On Sunday and its parent company Associated Newspapers, after allegations it unlawfully published a letter she wrote to her father.

The Sussexes’ high profile overseas visit, carried out at the request of the government, was overshadowed on the penultimate day when the duke launched a scathing attack on the British tabloid press as news of Meghan’s lawsuit became public.

The Sussexes
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex during their royal tour (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Harry, in a lengthy statement, accused the tabloid press of a “ruthless campaign” against his wife, adding: “I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.”

The Mail On Sunday spokesman has said it stands by its story and will be “defending this case vigorously”.

News Group Newspapers (NGN), which owns The Sun and the now defunct News Of The World, and Reach plc, which owns the Mirror, both confirmed the proceedings, but made no further comment.