Kate Middleton to replace Prince Harry 'imminently' in royal patronage

Prince Harry was stripped of all his royal patronages last year after confirming he and Meghan Markle would be staying in the US

Prince Harry
(Image credit: Getty)

Kate Middleton has been tipped to replace Prince Harry as the patron of English rugby, making her the first Royal Family member to take over one of the Duke of Sussex's stripped roles. 

The Duchess of Cambridge is expected to become the English rugby patron 'imminently', nearly one year after the Queen stripped Harry of the prestigious role. 

It's understood that Kate, who already holds 20 patronages to both charities and military organizations, has been chosen as the Duke of Sussex's replacement because of her excellent track record as a working royal—as well as her personal interest in the traditional English sport. 

The 40-year-old has always been a fan of rugby, having watched countless matches with her parents, Michael and Carole Middleton, and two siblings, Pippa and James, growing up in Reading. 

The exciting new job will also see her go head-to-head with her husband, Prince William, who is currently the patron of the Welsh rugby team. 

Kate Middleton

(Image credit: Getty)

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex lost their royal patronages in February 2021 once it became clear that they could no longer continue their duties to the British monarchy from their new home in California. 

The couple controversially stepped back as senior royals in January 2020 and emigrated to the US with their son, Archie, sending shockwaves through the Royal Family. Despite hopes that they would be allowed to fulfill their royal responsibilities from across the Atlantic, they were unable to reach a negotiation and were ultimately forced to give up all of their patronages. 

In a statement released by Buckingham Palace, it was revealed that Harry and Meghan had "confirmed to Her Majesty the Queen that they will not be returning as working members of the royal family" and it would therefore be impossible for them to "continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service." 


(Image credit: Getty)

"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," it went on. "While all are saddened by their decision, the duke and duchess remain much-loved members of the family."

With the Six Nations Championship set to commence on Saturday, 5 February 2022, it looks like the pressure was heating up to fill the empty slot left by Prince Harry. 

Kate is expected to play a 'front and center' role in the event, which suggests she'll be making at least one appearance at the exciting games. It's also understood that she plans to raise awareness of England Rugby's 'Inner Warrior' campaign, an initiative that aims to attract more girls and women to the male-dominated sport. 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.