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Kate Middleton taking on Prince Harry’s patronages of Rugby Football Union and Rugby Football League

Kate Middleton is reportedly set to take on the honorary roles as patron of England Rugby Football Union (RFU) and Rugby Football League (RFL) after Prince Harry’s royal exit.

The patronages, which were previously held by the Duke of Sussex, 36, are expected to be announced before the rugby league World Cup in October and November, according to The Times.

Prince Harry was stripped of his royal patronages by the Queen in February after it was confirmed that he and Meghan Markle would step back as working royals. 

The duchess has a keen interest in sport, playing tennis and hockey from a young age, and is a firm rugby supporter as well, watching England games with the Middleton family before her marriage to Prince William in 2011. 

Kate Middleton is set to take on the honorary roles as patron of England Rugby Football Union and Rugby Football League after Prince Harry’s royal exit. Pictured: The Duchess of Cambridge joins in a game of rugby with schoolchildren in Paris, 2017

Kate also 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 and educate young people through sport.  

It is reportedly thought Kate will champion the RFU’s ‘inner warrior’ campaign, which aims to help recruit more female players into clubs.  

So far, the campaign, now in its fourth year, has seen more than 20,000 women attend a Warrior camp, with many going on to join women’s touch and contact rugby teams.

The honorary roles were held by Prince Harry for five years, since 2016, when he took over as patron of the RFU from the Queen, who had held the role for 64 years.

The patronages were previously held by Prince Harry, 36, before he was stripped of the roles by the Queen after it was confirmed in February that he and Meghan Markle would step down as working royals (pictured speaking to England rugby player James Haskell in 2018)

The patronages were previously held by Prince Harry, 36, before he was stripped of the roles by the Queen after it was confirmed in February that he and Meghan Markle would step down as working royals (pictured speaking to England rugby player James Haskell in 2018)

The duchess is a firm rugby supporter and it is thought she will champion the RFU¿s 'inner warrior' campaign, which aims to help recruit more female players into clubs.

The duchess is a firm rugby supporter and it is thought she will champion the RFU’s ‘inner warrior’ campaign, which aims to help recruit more female players into clubs. 

He had also held the role of patron with the Rugby Football League since July 2017.

However, following the one-year review period after Megxit, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex confirmed to the Queen in February that they would not return to frontline duties following their year outside the Firm.  

At the time, Buckingham Palace said their decision meant ‘it is not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service’.

A Buckingham Palace statement read: ‘Following conversations with the Duke, the Queen has written confirming that in stepping away from the work of the Royal Family it is not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service. 

The RFU and RFL honorary roles were held by Harry until the one-year review period after Megxit. Pictured: Prince Harry gives the opening speech at the Rugby World Cup in 2015

The RFU and RFL honorary roles were held by Harry until the one-year review period after Megxit. Pictured: Prince Harry gives the opening speech at the Rugby World Cup in 2015 

Pictured: The Duke of Sussex with Jonny Wilkinson during the Six Nations in February 2018

Pictured: The Duke of Sussex with Jonny Wilkinson during the Six Nations in February 2018

‘The honorary military appointments and Royal patronages held by the Duke and Duchess will therefore be returned to Her Majesty, before being redistributed among working members of The Royal Family.

‘While all are saddened by their decision, The Duke and Duchess remain much loved members of the family.’ 

Within minutes of the announcement, several sporting bodies released their own statements confirming they had parted ways with the Sussexes.

Among them was England Rugby, who thanked Prince Harry for his ‘time and commitment’ to the Rugby Football Union as both patron and vice patron.

At the time, several sporting bodies released their own statements confirming they had parted ways with the Sussexes and thanked Prince Harry for his 'time and commitment'

At the time, several sporting bodies released their own statements confirming they had parted ways with the Sussexes and thanked Prince Harry for his ‘time and commitment’

They said: ‘Prince Harry will be stepping down from his role as RFU Patron. We would like to thank Prince Harry for his time and commitment to the RFU both in his position as Patron and Vice Patron.

‘The RFU has greatly valued his contribution to promoting and supporting the game.’

Meanwhile, the RFU said in a tweet: ‘The Rugby Football League thanks The Duke of Sussex for his time, care and commitment in supporting Rugby League at all levels in recent years – from the children’s game to the Challenge Cup, the England teams and RLWC2021.’

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex quit as senior working royals in March 2020 to earn their own money in the US, where they have signed deals with Spotify and Netflix estimated to be worth more than £100million as well as a $40m book deal. 

Stepping down as working royals also means the couple, who now live in an £11million mansion in Montecito, Santa Barbara in California, will not be able to hold on to their military, Commonwealth and some other patronages.

Discussions are continuing between the Queen and her family about who will take over Harry and Meghan’s remaining former patronages.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk