Kate Middleton to Reportedly Replace Prince Harry as Royal Rugby Patron

Kate Middleton to Reportedly Replace Prince Harry as Royal Rugby Patron
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The Duchess of Cambridge is known for her sporty inclinations. The former field hockey player is never afraid to dive into athletic events, from tennis to archery. Now, Kate is adding another sport to her list of interests—rugby. This weekend, the Sunday Times reported that the Duchess will become patron of the Rugby Football Union and Rugby Football League, a role formerly held by Prince Harry.

Prince Harry had to give up the position when he and his wife, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, stepped back from their royal roles. Kate's appointment to this patronage would make her the first high profile royal to take over one of the Prince's former official duties. The Times also noted that Queen Elizabeth is expected to make the announcement of Kate's new role in time for the Rugby Football League World Cup in October and November.

As the royal head of English rugby, the Duchess will also have to engage in some healthy competition with her husband, Prince William. The Duke of Cambridge is the patron of the Welsh national rugby team. Prince William assumed the role from Queen Elizabeth in 2016, the same year that Prince Harry was named patron of English rugby.

Photo credit: Karwai Tang - Getty Images
Photo credit: Karwai Tang - Getty Images

Though Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace have not yet officially confirmed Kate's new appointment, the patronage would fit nicely alongside the Duchess's other sports-related positions. She is already patron of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (which hosts Wimbledon each year), the Lawn Tennis Association, and two charitable groups—SportsAid (which helps fund young athletes' training) and the 1851 trust (which encourages youth sports involvement).

As the Palace turns over Prince Harry's royal duties, the Times also reported that Princess Anne will become the new Captain General of the Royal Marines. Though the appointment has not yet been officially announced, if true, she would be the first woman to ever hold that position.

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