It is thought The Queen is to hand over two of her well-known patronages to The Duchess of Cambridge and grandson, Prince Harry, later this year – a further sign the 89-year-old Monarch is decreasing her workload.
Since becoming Queen, Her Majesty has been patron of the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, which hosts the Wimbledon tennis championships. The Sunday Times reports The Queen will hand this responsibility over to Catherine, a fan of the sport and player herself.
Kate, 34, regularly attends Wimbledon, often with William, or sometimes members of the Middleton family.
Last month, Prince Philip also passed his Air Cadets patronage onto The Duchess of Cambridge, and it seems she may be stepping up her duties to help, but also as she feels more comfortable in her role within the Firm.
The other patronage that is expected to be passed on, is that of the Rugby Football Union (RFU). Prince Harry, who is currently vice-patron and last year was honorary president of the World Cup, is a big fan of the game, and would take over the as patron of the rugby union governing body in England. The Queen took on this role just a year before she took the throne.
With her 90th birthday looming in April, The Queen is understood to be assessing how much time she can now devote to the 628 organisations and charities she supports and represents.
The report also suggests The Duke of Cambridge will be handed Her Majesty’s position in the Football Association – something with which he is already closely affiliated – and that Sophie, Countess of Wessex will also help share the load.
In June, all of Her Majesty’s patronages will be celebrated at the Patron’s Lunch, a street party on the Mall, in honour of The Queen’s 90th birthday. This will take place on 12th June, the same weekend as Trooping the Colour, the official celebration of her birthday.
In 2014, Her Majesty could not go up a set of stairs at a service for the Order of the Bath, and so Prince Charles performed this part of her role. Both The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh are in remarkable health at 89 and 94 respectively, carrying out hundreds of engagements each year: in 2015 they performed 306 and 217 official engagements, with more than 30 overseas visits.
Comparatively, Catherine and Harry undertook 62 and 49 engagements, while Harry was abroad on 59 occasions.