Kate Middleton to encourage female players as she takes overs Prince Harry’s rugby and football patronages

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Kate plays rugby with young French rugby fans near the Eiffel Tower in March 2017 in Paris during her and Prince William's official tour. (PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Kate plays rugby with young French rugby fans near the Eiffel Tower in March 2017 in Paris during her and Prince William's official tour. (PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)

It’s fallen on Kate Middleton’s capable shoulders to pick up some of the patronages Prince Harry was forced to ditch after his exit from the royal family last year.

Prince William’s wife is set to take on the honorary roles as patron of the England Rugby Football Union (RFU) and the Rugby Football League (RFL).

The patronages are reportedly expected to be announced before the Rugby League World Cup in October and November.

The queen stripped Harry of his royal patronages after he and Meghan confirmed they wouldn’t be working royals anymore.

Harry took over from his grandmother as patron of the RFU in 2016 – she held the role for 64 years – and the RFL in July 2017.

The 39-year-old duchess is a keen sportswoman herself, who’s played tennis and hockey from a young age.

(PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Kate at this year's Wimbledon women's final prize-giving at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, of which she's the patron. (PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)

She already serves as royal patron of the All England Lawn and Tennis Croquet Club, the Lawn Tennis Association, SportsAid and the 1851 Marine Trust, which aims to inspire young people through sport.

The duke and duchess of Cambridge are big rugby and football supporters and it’s believed Kate will champion the RFU’s “inner warrior” campaign to aims to recruit more female players into clubs.

During a speech at SportsAid’s 40th anniversary bash in 2016, Kate spoke about her love for sport and its importance for young people. “Some of you may know that I love sport. I love cheering on teams and athletes that I’m passionate about,” she said.

(PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Prince Harry, in his former position as patron of the Rugby Football League, hosts the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draw at Buckingham Palace. (PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)

“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.

“By investing in young sporting talent, they [SportsAid] ensure there’s a strong pipeline of inspirational heroes. These athletes then serve as motivators to everyone in the UK to get involved, get active and embrace the power of sport to make us happier and healthier.”

Discussions are ongoing between the queen and her family about who’ll take over Harry and Meghan’s remaining former patronages.


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