Kate Middleton given two of Prince Harry's royal patronages

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Kate Middleton has officially been named as patron of the Rugby Football Union and the Rugby Football League.

These royal patronages used to belong to Prince Harry, making the Duchess of Cambridge the first member of the royal family to receive one of the Sussexes’ past patronages.

Kate Middleton has been named as patron of the Rugby Football Union
Kate Middleton has been named as patron of the Rugby Football Union and the Rugby Football League. Photo: Getty

The Duke, a passionate rugby fan who celebrated with England when they won the rugby union World Cup in 2003, had acted as RFU patron since 2016 and patron of RFL since 2017, taking over the roles from his grandmother.

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But since he and Meghan left royal duties and moved to LA, he no longer has the position and Kate has been asked by the Queen to take over.

In a statement, Kensington Palace said the high-profile sporting appointments “closely align with Her Royal Highness’ long-standing passion for sport and the lifelong benefits it can provide”.

prince harry
These royal patronages used to belong to Prince Harry. Photo: Getty

Kate's love for sport is well-known of course and this is not her first role in the area.

She's been patron of the Lawn Tennis Association and Croquet Club since 2016, and presents the men's Wimbledon trophy annually.

A keen player herself, the Duchess supports the club's aim to promote tennis to young people. She's also a patron of SportsAid, which helps future sports stars by funding their early career years.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge takes part in an England rugby training session
Kate was given the royal patronages by The Queen. Photo: Getty
Duchess of Cambridge after becoming Patron of the Rugby Football Union
The Duchess is the first member of the royal family to officially receive one of the Sussexes’ past patronages. Photo: Getty

In a new video released by Kensington Palace to mark the transfer, Kate can be seen passing a rugby ball to players.

In personal message accompanying the clip on social media, she said: “I am so thrilled to become patron of the @TheRFL and @EnglandRugby. Two fantastic organisations who are committed to harnessing the power that sport can have in bringing communities together and helping individuals flourish.

“I look forward to working with them across all levels of the games, and to cheering England on in what promises to be an exciting year for both sports! C.”

Kate’s new affiliation with England Rugby puts her in direct competition with husband the Duke of Cambridge, who is the Welsh Rugby Union’s patron. There may be some celebrating in different rooms of Kensington Palace, during future games.

Kate will have to juggle her time - she is also patron of many health, children's and Arts charities and organisations. In her free time, however, sport is her go-to hobby for fun and relaxation, and she has never shied away from having a go at new activities on official visits.

Additional reporting by Flic Everett.

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