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Duchess Kate Gets Sporty While Taking Over Rugby Patronage From Prince Harry

Duchess Kate Middleton Makes Rugby Patronage Debut After Taking Over From Prince Harry
Kate Middleton and Prince Harry Tim Rooke/Shutterstock (2)

Her first day! Duchess Kate celebrated her new role as rugby patronage by showing off her own athletic skills.

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“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,” Kate, 40, captioned an Instagram video on Wednesday, February 2. “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!”

In the social media post, the Duchess of Cambridge appeared in several clips throwing around a rugby ball. Kate also visited Twickenham Stadium that same day to meet the players getting ready for the Six Nations Championships.

Kate’s new role was redistributed to her by Queen Elizabeth II from her brother-in-law Prince Harry. The Duke of Sussex, 37, previously held this patronage before he chose to step down from his royal duties alongside wife Meghan Markle.

Duchess Kate Middleton Makes Rugby Patronage Debut After Taking Over From Prince Harry 2
Catherine Duchess of Cambridge visits an England Rugby training session at Twickenham today as part of her new role as Patron of the Rugby Football Union February 2, 2022 in Twickenham, London, England. Jeremy Selwyn/WPA Pool/Shutterstock

The couple made headlines in 2020 when they announced that they were stepping back from their duties as working members of the royal family. One year later, they confirmed their decision not to return to their senior roles.

“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,” Buckingham Palace wrote in a statement in February 2021. “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.”

The pair, who tied the knot in 2018, opened up about the shocking decision in a tell-all interview on CBS.

“I was trapped but I didn’t know I was trapped,” Harry said in March 2021. “Trapped within the system like the rest of the family. My father [Prince Charles] and my brother are trapped. They don’t get to leave and I have huge compassion for that.”

Amid speculation that Prince William and Harry’s relationship took a turn since his exit, the brothers reunited on several occasions. William, 39, and Harry crossed paths at Prince Philip‘s funeral in April 2021 and for the unveiling of their mother Princess Diana’s statue three months later.

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A source later told Us Weekly that there have been efforts to mend the relationship after Harry and Meghan, 40, welcomed their daughter Lilibet in June 2021. They are also parents to 2-year-old son Archie.

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Prince Harry during the RFU All Schools Training Session on October 17, 2013 in Twickenham, Britain. Heathcliff O'Malley/Shutterstock

“Kate has been reaching out to Meghan a lot more since [Lilibet] was born, she’s sending [notes and] gifts and trying to build up a relationship,” a source shared with Us at the time. “The firm has been instructing staffers to reach out more to Harry and Meghan to get them to soften a bit.”

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As the royal family rang in the new year, a second insider revealed that Kate and William had plans to shift their focus going into 2022.

“[William and Kate] are looking forward to starting fresh in the New Year. We’ll be seeing a transition of responsibility — they’re taking on additional charity work, attending more events and making appearances,” the source shared in December 2021. “There’s even a royal tour in the works, and of course they’re heavily involved in the Platinum Jubilee.”

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