The Duchess of Cambridge is taking on a very fitting new role. Kate Middleton will soon be named the new patron of the Rugby Football Union, reports the Daily Mail, taking over the position that was formerly held by Prince Harry.
Prince Harry took over the role from the Queen in 2016; he was previously vice patron from 2010 to 2016, but had to give up the position (along with his other patronages and honorary military titles) last February, when he and Meghan Markle confirmed they weren’t returning to their senior royal roles.
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At the time, Buckingham Palace released a statement revealing that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan’s royal patronages were being returned to Queen Elizabeth, and that they would be redistributed to other working members of the royal family.
Duchess Kate, however, will be the first royal to actually take over one of her brother-in-law’s former patronages, and per the Daily Mail, she’ll be unveiled as the new patron of the Rugby Football Union “imminently.”
Kate’s a big sports enthusiast; she never fails to jump right into any athletic activity, including field hockey, archery, cricket and land yachting. And, of course, she’s tried her hand at rugby, including on her and Prince William’s visit to Northern Ireland in September 2021. The Duchess is also a serious tennis fan (she’s surely always the most excited and expressive royal at Wimbledon), and is the patron of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club as well as the Lawn Tennis Association. She’s also patron of SportsAid and1951 Trust, which help fund and encourage youth involvement in sports.
The Duchess of Cambridge is already a rugby fan, and reportedly watched the England games with her family growing up, per the Sunday Times, so the new patronage is a perfect fit. While there have been reports that the Duchess would be taking over the patronage since last summer, nothing was confirmed by the Palace, and it seems that now the announcement is finally coming, likely due to the upcoming Six Nations Championship, which begins next weekend, on February 5.
If the new patronage is confirmed prior to the matches, Prince William and Duchess Kate will end up on opposing sides later next month cheering for their teams; the Duke of Cambridge is patron of the Welsh Rugby Union, and England is set to play against Wales on Saturday, January 26.