It seems the Duchess of Cambridge might be taking over two roles previously held by her brother-in-law Prince Harry. According to The Sunday Times, Kate is set to become patron of the Rugby Football Union and the Rugby Football League. The announcement will reportedly be made prior to the Rugby League World Cup in October and November. The patronages were formerly held by the Duke of Sussex, but were reverted back to the Queen following Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to not return as working members of the royal family.
In February, Buckingham Palace released a statement saying, “Following conversations with The Duke, The Queen has written confirming that in stepping away from the work of The Royal Family it is not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service. The honorary military appointments and Royal patronages held by The Duke and Duchess will therefore be returned to Her Majesty, before being redistributed among working members of The Royal Family.”
Kate, whose patronages include the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club and SportsAid, is known for her love of sports. “Some of you may know that I love sport,” she said in 2016 at SportsAid’s 40th anniversary dinner (via E! Online). “I love cheering on teams and athletes that I am passionate about. I love the physical challenge sport presents and the mental strength it gives us all. And I love the way it so often brings people together to work as part of a team.”
The rugby patronages will no doubt be a perfect fit for the sporty Duchess, whose younger sister Pippa Middleton once revealed that the sport was a “big thing” in their family. Writing for Vanity Fair in 2014, Prince George’s maternal aunt shared, “Rugby was a big thing for our family, and the focal point was international matches, which were often played on Saturday afternoons and were as much social as sporting occasions.”
“We’d plan our weekends around the big matches, a quick bite to eat at halftime or lunch on our laps, typically a chicken potpie or something equally cozy and English,” Pippa added. “If we lost, my dad would be in a state of despair for the rest of the afternoon, as if he’d actually lost the game himself.”