THE Queen is looking to Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, to fill the void left by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s abrupt departure from the Firm, and is reportedly planning to hand her sporting patronages that have been left vacant as yet another sign of approval.
When the Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped down from their senior royal roles, they were stripped of their patronages and honorary positions. While they had intended to continue working on behalf of the monarch with charities and organizations, she slammed their half-in, half-out work model. Her Majesty is now looking to get things back on track by appointing Kate as patron of the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and the Rugby Football League (RFL), following more than a year of cancelled engagements due to the Covid pandemic (RFL).
Before the rugby league World Cup in October and November, the Queen is expected to make her plan to usher Kate in to fill Harry’s shoes public.
The duchess, 39, is a well-known outdoorswoman who has long promoted the physical and mental health benefits of sports.
Kate grew up in the Berkshire village of Bucklebury, where she was familiar with rugby and frequently watched games with her sports-crazed family.
In a 2014 article for Vanity Fair magazine, her younger sister Pippa discussed the family’s passion for the sport.
“Imagine the scene,” she said. In the Middleton household, it’s a Saturday afternoon. The air is thick with anticipation.
“We’re watching England play Ireland in the 1996 Five Nations Rugby tournament, and all eyes are on the television… In our family, rugby was a big deal, and international matches were the highlight.
“We’d schedule our weekends around the games… My father would be depressed for the rest of the afternoon if we lost, as if he had lost the game himself.”
Prince William is the patron of the Welsh Rugby Union, so Kate will not be the first member of the Cambridge family to support the sport.
The Queen, members of her family, and royal aides are still debating who should fill the remaining patronages stripped from Harry and Meghan.