Great Britain

Royal Family LIVE: Queen to hand Kate Prince Harry's role in new seal of approval

Prince William and Kate’s kiss compared to Diana and Charles

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were stripped of their patronages and honorary positions when they stepped down from their senior royal roles. While they had initially planned to continue their work with charities and organisations on behalf of the monarch, she firmly slapped down their half-in half-out work model. And now, following more than a year of cancelled engagements due to the Covid pandemic, Her Majesty is looking to get things back on track by appointing Kate as patron of the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and the Rugby Football League (RFL).

The positions previously held by Harry are set to be announced in the coming months, according to The Sunday Times.

The Queen will likely go public with her plan to usher Kate in to fill Harry's shoes before the rugby league World Cup in October and November.

The duchess, 39, is a well-known lover of the outdoors and has long championed the benefits of sport for physical and mental health.

Growing up in the Berkshire village of Bucklebury, Kate was accustomed to rugby and would often watch games with her sports-mad family.

kate middleton

The Queen is set to hand Prince Harry's former patronages to Kate (Image: GETTY)

prince harry rugby

Prince Harry's former rugby patronages are up for grabs (Image: GETTY)

Her younger sister Pippa delved into the family's love for the sport in a 2014 article for Vanity Fair magazine.

She said: “Picture the scene. It’s Saturday afternoon in the Middleton household. The atmosphere is heavy with expectation.

"All eyes are on the television ... we’re watching England play Ireland in the 1996 Five Nations Rugby tournament ... Rugby was a big thing in our family, and the focal point was international matches.

kate middleton rugby

Kate is set to pick up Harry's former rugby patronages (Image: GETTY)

"We’d plan our weekends around the matches ... If we lost, my dad would be in a state of despair for the rest of the afternoon, as if he’d actually lost the game himself.”

However, Kate won't be the first in the Cambridge household to hold a patronage with the sport as Prince William is patron of the Welsh Rugby Union.

Discussions between the Queen, members of her family and royal aides on who should fill the remaining patronages stripped from Harry and Meghan are continuing.

SEE BELOW FOR LIVE UPDATES:

kate middleton rugby

The duchess grew up watching rugby with her family (Image: GETTY)

8.05am update: Americans able to enjoy Royal Family through Prince Harry without 'historical baggage'

American audiences can enjoy a "slice" of the Royal Family through Prince Harry and Meghan without having to deal with the constitutional and historical baggage that comes with the institution considering the United State's history with the monarchy, an academic explained.

Lecturer at the University of British Columbia and Queen Victoria history expert Dr Sarika Bose spoke with Express.co.uk and believed American audiences could enjoy the Royal Family without diving into the muddied history the country has had with the Royal Family.

Hard-line American Conservatives have positioned themselves as being opposed to the Royal Family as they hark back to the American Revolutionary War and continue to be wary of a constitutional monarchy interfering in US politics in any way.

But Dr Bose believes Prince Harry and Meghan offer a half-way solution for Americans by providing the royal experience without the protocols and responsibilities that come with the monarchy.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Dr Bose was asked whether Americans enjoyed Harry and Meghan because they did not have any baggage that came along with them that may force politicised opposition. 

7.55am update: Princess Diana niece Lady Kitty speaks out after father Earl Spencer missed wedding

Princess Diana's niece Lady Kitty Spencer has spoken out for the first time since her lavish wedding. The aristocrat was walked down the aisle by her half-brothers as her father Earl Spencer missed her big day.

Lady Kitty Spencer, 30, married Michael Lewis, 62, in Rome last weekend and stunning pictures from the nuptials delighted fans on Instagram.

The British aristocrat and model is Princess Diana's niece and wowed in a series of gorgeous Dolce and Gabbana gowns throughout the three-day celebration.

The fashion house posted footage from the ceremony including a snippet of Kitty being given away by her two half-brothers, Louis Spencer, Viscount Althorp, and Samuel Aitken, while her father Charles, Earl Spencer was absent from the event.

Last Thursday Kitty spoke out for the first time since her wedding to pay tribute to her half-brothers on Instagram.

Royal Family tree

Royal Family tree (Image: EXPRESS)

7.53am update: Queen tea! Royal chef lays bare monarch’s favourite afternoon snack - 'Whole cake'

The Queen's afternoon tea habits have been laid bare by a former royal chef.

Darren McGrady, who has shocked fans over the years with his culinary revelations, revealed the monarch’s preferences for one of the nation’s favourite pastimes.

He told Hello! the 95-year-old is a huge fan of ginger cakes and chocolate biscuit cakes.

Her Majesty is such a big fan of the cakes she has even been known to take some with her on her travels.

Mr McGrady said: “The royal chefs send a whole cake up to Her Majesty every day for tea.

“She will sometimes take a slice and then it is never seen at the royal table again.

“The chocolate biscuit cake is the only cake that goes up to the royal table every day until it has all gone – sometimes this means it following her to Windsor Castle for the weekend.”

7.49am update: 'How cute!' Princess Eugenie’s sweet family nickname unveiled in Fergie photoshoot

Princess Eugenie's sweet family nickname has been unveiled during Sarah Ferguson's latest photoshoot.

Appearing in the August 2021 issue of Town & Country magazine, the Duchess of York, 61, is pictured posing on a swinging rope seat suspended under a grand tree in a stunning garden. In a touching tribute, the wooden seat is engraved with the names of her daughter and son-in-law.

But eagle-eyed royal fans have been quick to point out Eugenie’s cute nickname used in the shot.

‘Euge & Jack’ can be made out inscribed beneath Fergie - acting as a touching tribute to the couple who recently welcomed their first child earlier this year.

One twitter user who spotted the heartwarming tribute said: “How cute! In a picture taken of The Duchess of York at Royal Lodge for her new interview for @TandCmag she is standing on a swing engraved with ‘Euge & Jack’.”

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