After months of speculation. it was announced today The Duchess of Cambridge was to become the new royal patron of Rugby Football League and Rugby Football Union.
Stepping out after the announcement was made, Catherine visited Twickenham Stadium in west London, home of the England rugby team.
The patronages were previously held by The Duke of Sussex until last year, when he and The Duchess of Sussex announced they would be stepping back from royal duties. Prior to this, The Queen held the role.
Catherine didn’t hesitate to get stuck in with players at training. Wearing a black England rugby top, joggers, and trainers, she was asked if she was ready. Kate replied: “Absolutely. I’ve got my kit on.”
She was shown into the famous stadium by women’s captain, Sarah Hunter and men’s captain, Courtney Lawes.
During her visit, the mother-of0three met with members of both the men’s and women’s rugby squads and their coaching teams as they prepare for the Six Nations Championships, which begins this weekend.
The Duchess heard about their hopes for the upcoming sporting year, and how the pandemic has affected the sport over the past couple of years.
Catherine also gave us an insight into her eldest son’s interest in sports, as she told the women’s squad how George is playing rugby and netball with girls and boys at his school, adding ‘now that there is a move towards co-ed sport, so it’s not just girls playing netball, but other sports like rugby, which is great’.
She also spoke about her children’s passion for rugby: “They’re all enjoying it, Louis is kamikaze, we’re worrying about when he gets older, he’ll be in the middle of everything.”
The group laughed with Sarah Hunter commenting: “That’s perfect!”
During the visit, the Duchess even took part in some training exercises at the grounds, which saw her running across the pitch. She tried a line-out with members of the women’s team and as well as a simple throwing and catching exercise, and even attempted a drop kick.
Catherine was overcome with fits of giggles as she carried out the position of the hooker between props Jamie George and Ellis Genge in a scrum.
Catch! The Duchess of Cambridge gets lift-off at Twickenham as she replaces Prince Harry as patron of the RFU and RFL pic.twitter.com/GTh6ZsasCu
— Matt Wilkinson (@MattSunRoyal) February 2, 2022
Prior to her outing, The Duchess of Cambridge said in posts across social media: “I am so thrilled to become Patron of the Rugby Football League and Rugby Football Union – 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!”
The Duchess of Cambridge showed off her rugby skills when she visited the England men’s and women’s squads during a training session at Twickenham.
Kate is now patron of the Rugby Football Union (RFU), taking over from Prince Harry. pic.twitter.com/7NKBUbyhQj
— The Royal Family Channel (@RoyalFamilyITNP) February 2, 2022
Kensington Palace issued a statement about Kate’s new patronages saying: “These new patronages, which have been given to the Duchess by Her Majesty The Queen, closely align with Her Royal Highness’ longstanding passion for sport and the lifelong benefits it can provide, both within our communities and on an individual level.”
The Duchess of Cambridge has been a long-time fan of the sport, as she grew up watching England rugby games with her family. In 2014, her sister, Pippa Matthews, wrote in Vanity Fair that ‘rugby was a big thing for our family and the focal point was international matches. We’d plan our weekends around the matches. 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.’
Home of @EnglandRugby!
Fantastic to meet the players, staff and referees representing the sport at the highest level.
Even put the ? on to get a taste of how the teams train.
Wishing both teams the best of luck in their upcoming tournaments! ???????? pic.twitter.com/LzznjqL6j0
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) February 2, 2022
The atmosphere within the Royal Family is now set to be a competitive one following The Duchess of Cambridge’s new rugby patronages. The Princess Royal is the Patron of the Scottish Rugby Union, whilst The Duke of Cambridge is Patron of the Welsh Rugby Union.
How will the teams fare in the Six Nations? Only time will tell…!