The Princess of Wales cheered England to victory as she dodged the rain at the Rugby League World Cup Quarter Final after taking over the royal as patron from Prince Harry.
The mother-of-three, 40, said she was ‘proud to be their patron’ after both the men and women’s teams triumphed over Papua New Guinea and Canada DW Stadium in Wigan this afternoon.
Dressed in an Alexander McQueen coat and burgundy turtleneck, the Princess finished off her chic ensemble with a woolen red poppy to show her support for the Armed Forces ahead of Remembrance Sunday and some £425 pearl earrings by UK designer Annoushka Ducas, which she’s owned since 2012.
While the England men’s team won 46-6 to Papua New Guinea, the women’s team beat Canada 54-4 earlier in the day.
Meeting the female players during half-time of the men’s match, Kate said: ‘I’ve loved watching the game. It’s really exciting, it’s so fast paced. It’s been really exciting, the atmosphere as well.’
She told players: ‘It’s amazing to see the women’s game being played at the same time, alongside the men’s game.’
‘I’m so in awe of all of you, you’re running day jobs as well as training, as well as family life and things like that, it’s extraordinary. You juggle everything.’
During the half-time break, Kate spoke with the women’s team – who triumphed Canada earlier in the day. Canadian captain Gabrielle Hindley (second left front row) was also invited to speak with the Princess
The Princess of Wales told players it was ‘amazing’ to see the women’s and men’s matches played in the same stadium on the same day.
The mother-of-three, 40, told players she was ‘in awe’ of how they juggle their work and home lives. Pictured sharing a laugh with the women’s England rugby team after their win over Canada
This year marks the first time the men’s, women’s and wheelchair competitions will all be staged alongside each other at the Rugby League World Cup.
Kate also said the inclusivity of the sport was ‘really impressive’, and added: ‘That’s why I’m so proud to be patron.’
Ahead of kick-off this afternoon, the Princess met key representatives of the World Cup’s Social Impact programme – which has secured over £25m investment since its launch in 2018 to increase opportunities for players from different backgrounds and promote positive mental health.
Volunteers presented the princess with gifts including soap, a signed shirt, artwork and some knitted hats.
Styling her brown hair in her signature loose waves, the Princess (pictured on the pitch ahead of kick-off) finished off her chic ensemble with a woolen red poppy to show her support for the Armed Forces ahead of Remembrance Sunday and some pearl earrings.
Kate opted for a pair of square-toed burgundy suede boots as she walked onto the pitch to meet the England and Papua New Guinea players this afternoon
The mother-of-three was all smiles as she greeted players from both teams. She will also take part in a one-minute ‘non-silence’ to mark Movember’s Mental Fitness Match Day
The Princess of Wales – who is official royal patron of the Rugby Football League – appeared to tell player Sam Tomkins that she had her fingers crossed for the team
Expressing her appreciation, Kate told volunteer Susan Hill: ‘I tried knitting once and I was terrible at it, so I’ll have to come for lessons!’
The draw for the World Cup was launched by Prince Harry in January 2020, just over a week after he announced he wanted to step down as a senior working royal with wife Meghan.
The bespoke Alexander McQueen coat the Princess wore today is a staple in Kate’s wardrobe and she’s been pictured wearing it several times over the years – including a 2020 visit to a care home in Bath during the height of the pandemic.
Today was the first time Kate is watching a match in her capacity as the official royal patron of the Rugby Football League, after taking over the position from Prince Harry in February.
The mother-of-three wore a red pleated skirt and burgundy turtleneck underneath her Alexander McQueen wool coat. Pictured waving to crowds as she arrived on the pitch before kick-off
Today is the first time Kate is watching a match in her capacity as the official royal patron of the Rugby Football League, after taking over the position from Prince Harry in February. Kate – who has been dubbed the ‘Children’s Princess’ by royal fans thanks to her natural rapport with young people – pictured speaking with children wearing the Movember charity jackets
The Princess of Wales made her way to the royal box after speaking with players. Speaker of the House of Commons Sir Lindsay Hoyle and President of the Rugby Football League Clare Balding (both pictured in the front row) had already taken their places in the box
The Princess of Wales pictured talking to TV presenter Clare Balding ahead of the England vs Papua New Guinea Rugby League World Cup quarter-final match at the DW Stadium. Clare is the President of the Rugby Football League and was pictured wearing her ceremonial medal
The Princess of Wales appeared captivated by the England match against Papua New Guinea as she sat in between two rugby bigwigs at the DW Stadium in Wigan
The Princess of Wales, 40, wore a red full-length red coat and burgundy roll-neck as she braved the rain at the Rugby League World Cup Quarter final in Wigan this afternoon
The crowds at DW stadium in Wigan erupted into cheers as the Princess of Wales appeared on the pitch. The Princess of Wales shielded herself from the rain with a black umbrella
The Princess met players from the men’s England and Papua New Guinea teams on the pitch before taking part in one minute of ‘non-silence’ to mark Movember’s Mental Fitness Match Day.
The mother-of-three was all smiles as she spoke with players and appeared to tell England’s Sam Tomkins that she had her ‘fingers crossed’ for them.
Kate – who was dubbed the ‘Children’s Princess’ by royal fans last month thanks to her natural rapport with young people – also took the time to speak with children on the pitch who were there with the charity Movember.
Once the game got underway, Kate took her place in the Royal box where she was pictured speaking with BBC sports presenter Clare Balding – who is President of the Rugby Football League and pictured wearing her ceremonial medal.
The mother-of-three, pictured wearing the Alexander McQueen coat while visiting a care home in Bath in 2020. Pictured, with Prince William
The couple (pictured left, and right) heard how the care home offers a broad range of activities which aim to promote independence by developing and maintaining and enhancing people’s skills, interests and abilities
The then-Duke and Duchess of Cambridge pictured arriving at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, to mark the launch of the nationwide ‘Hold Still’ community photography project on October 20, 2023. The mother-of-three wore the bespoke £2,990 coat with some black suede heels and a white top
The Princess of Wales has owned the £420 pearl earrings she wore to the Rugby League World Cup Quarter Final today since 2014. Pictured wearing the dangly earrings by Annoushka Duca during her Australia tour in April 2014. The Princess of Wales has worn the pearl earrings or over 60 public engagements over the past 10 years. Kate attaches the pearls to a pave hoop
The Princess 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.
Earlier this month, Kate penned a supportive good luck message to teams ahead of the tournament’s start date.
She said: ‘I wanted to wish you the very best with your respective World Cup tournaments. I was so honoured to become Patron of the RFL earlier this year, not least because I know what an important moment this is for Rugby League.
‘The ability to take part in any World Cup tournament is incredible, but to be able to do so on your home turf, hosting teams from around the world and showcasing everything that this fantastic sport has to offer is truly special.’
In her element! The Duchess, dressed head-to-toe in England Rugby kit, beamed as she joined players for a training session at Twickenham on February 2, 2022
Giggling Kate took part in a line-out with members of the England women’s rugby team hours after she was announced as their new royal patron in February 2022
‘I am also very proud that this will be the most inclusive Rugby League World Cup to date, with the men’s, women’s and wheelchair tournaments running alongside each other for the first time. We’re in for an amazing few weeks of rugby and I look forward to cheering you on all the way.’
She added: ‘I know that this has been a particularly long wait for you all, but I hope that the extra year has worked in your favor and that you are now even more prepared to take on the challenges ahead.
‘You have worked incredibly hard to get to this point and I have no doubt that your efforts will inspire the next generation of Rugby League stars on the pitch.’
Earlier this month, the Princess said she’d be setting her alarm early to wake up in time for England Women’s rugby matches as they compete in the World Cup in New Zealand this autumn
Left: The Princess of Wales said she ‘couldn’t wait’ to see the England Rugby League teams in ‘action’ in the weeks to come. Right: Kensington Palace released this photo of the then-Duchess of Cambridge when she was announced as the new patron of the Rugby Football League in February
Ever the keen sports fan, Kate attended the Wimbledon final earlier this year in her role as royal patron of the championship and got stuck into some rugby training with the women’s England team at Twickenham back in February.
Hours after she was confirmed as the Duke of Sussex’s replacement, sporty Kate donned official England Rugby £50 pants and £50 zip-up top as she joined England players for a training session at Twickenham.
Commenting on her newest patronage, Kate said she was ‘thrilled’ to be supporting ‘two fantastic organisations’ – the Rugby Football League and the Rugby Football Union
Competitive Kate looked delighted to be stepping into her brother-in-law’s shoes and giggled, laughed and smiled her way through the drills, led by head coach Eddie Jones.
Wearing her hair swept back into a high ponytail, the mother-of-three was in her element as she tore across the pitch, joined in a scrum and even scored a try.
Sharing a smile! Meeting the gentleman’s eye and engaging him in conversation, the mother-of-three put her arm around him before smiling for the camera on Thursday
Tread carefully! Kate watched her step in her stiletto heels as she made her way along the grass by mental health hub The Street in Scarbough so she could continue to say hello to people on the other side of the gates (pictured left). Pictured right, William and Kate on Thursday
Today’s mental health efforts will no doubt be of great importance to the Princess.
In 2016, Kate launched the Heads Together foundation with Prince William and Prince Harry to end the stigma surrounding mental health struggles and has been a royal patron of children’s mental health charity Place2Be since 2013.
Earlier this week, the Prince and Princess of Wales visited the community hub The Street in Scarborough to learn about its mental health support system.
The duo were greeted by a cheering crowd – including one who flung his arms around Kate – as they started their day in the North Yorkshire resort to engage with local organisations who will benefit from funding which has been created from a collaboration between The Royal Foundation of The Prince and Princess of Wales and the Two Ridings Community Foundation.
During his first official visit to the seaside town, the Prince of Wales described how providing services throughout the community and talking are ‘crucial’ in dealing with the ‘mental health issues that many, many people face’.
After the tour, William told the donors, volunteers and centre-users: ‘We heard a lot upstairs about mental health priorities, safe spaces, places to go for young people after schools and food, these are particularly keen issues that seem to be resonating through the community today.
‘I think, particularly on the mental health side of things, tackling that stigma, talking about mental health and providing services throughout the community are crucial to how we go forwards and deal with mental health issues that many, many people face.’
The Princess of Wales (pictured at the 2021 carol service) will host another Christmas Carol event this year at Westminster Abbey
At last year’s event the Princess of Wales was joined by her husband Prince William, Sophie Wessex, and Zara and Mike Tindall
The service will be broadcast on ITV on Thursday 15 December, in what will be Kate’s first Christmas Carol service since she was given the Princess of Wales title.
The purpose of the service is to recognise selflessness among individuals and communities around the UK and highlight the importance of supporting others during difficult times.
The event, which is spearheaded by the Princess of Wales band supported by The Royal Foundation, will showcase the ‘joy’ of coming together in friendships and community events that support people in times of difficulty and loss.
It is designed to appeal to people of all faiths, as well as people who do not practice faith or religion.
Royal fans can expect to see members of the Royal Family attend the event as the late Queen is commemorated in a ceremony that will honour some core values she demonstrated throughout her life – including empathy and compassion.
To celebrate such values, some special guests will be invited to the Abbey in recognition of their efforts to help the people around them.