Kate Replaces Prince Harry as Patron of RFL and RFU


First of the royal patronages of Prince 

One of the royal patronages of Prince Harry to be redistributed to a working family member of the royal family.

Kate replaces her brother-in-law as patron of the Rugby Football League and Rugby Football Union, in a move to revamp royal patronages after the departure of two most senior royal family members - The Duke of Sussex and The Duke of York, from public life. 

RFL an RFU are the two first patronages held by Prince Harry to be redistributed to working family member.

Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex

The Sussexes were stripped of all their royal patronages in February 2021 after they confirmed they would not be returning as working members of the Royal Family.

Harry became patron of the RFU in 2016, taking over from the Queen who held the role for 64 years. He had previously been vice patron since 2010.

Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge

It also sets up a fresh sporting rivalry between the Cambridges as Prince William is patron of the Welsh Rugby Union.

This competition will see the duchess as patron of the England team, coming up against her husband Prince William, who is patron of the Welsh Rugby Union.

Prince Harry, Prince William and Kate watching the Rugby World Cup in 2015

Kate wrote a personal message in the Duke and Duchess official instagram account:

“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" - C

Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge

Ralph Rimmer, Chief Executive of the Rugby Football League, said: “We are truly honoured by the appointment of The Duchess of Cambridge as the Rugby Football League’s Royal Patron.

“We are delighted to welcome her as we prepare to host Men’s, Women’s, Wheelchair and Physical Disability Rugby League World Cups in England this autumn. Our sport’s history has been built on a commitment to tackling inequalities and we honour that through our focus on having a positive social impact well beyond the pitch.

“We look forward to working with The Duchess in the years to come, and I know all levels of our sport will welcome her to the Rugby League family.

Prince Harry and Prince William attending the England v Wales match during the Rugby World Cup 2015

Prince William became the patron of the Welsh Rugby Union in December 2016, taking over the role from the Queen. 

Prince Harry was appointed patron of England Rugby Football Union in 2017, taking over the role from the Queen

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