Kensington Palace have announced this morning that The Duchess of Cambridge has become the new Patron of the Rugby Football League.

The new patronage, which has been given to The Duchess by Her Majesty The Queen, closely aligns with Her Royal Highness’ longstanding passion for sport and the lifelong benefits it can provide, both within our communities and on an individual level.

She has also become Royal Patron of the Rugby Football Union.

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.”

England will host the Rugby League World Cup this autumn after it was postponed in 2021, Jon Dutton, Chief Executive of RLWC 2021 reacted to the news of the Rugby Football League’s new Patron by saying: “We welcome the announcement of The Duchess of Cambridge as the Rugby Football League’s Royal Patron 256 days before the Rugby League World Cup 2021 commences.

“We very much look forward to showcasing our collective approach to social impact and inclusivity to the Duchess, as we continue on our journey to deliver the biggest and best Rugby League World Cup in history”.

The announcement was accompanied by a video on social media involving the Duchess of Cambridge and three England Rugby League players; Jodie Cunningham (St Helens), Harry Newman (Leeds Rhinos) and James Simpson (Leeds Rhinos) and three representatives from the Rugby Football Union.

By Joshua Chapman