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Queen Elizabeth II and her longstanding association with rugby

By Owain Jones
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II poses 08 December, 2003, with the England rugby squad at a reception at Buckingham Palace in London. (Photo by KIRSTY WIGGLESWORTH / POOL / AFP) (Photo by KIRSTY WIGGLESWORTH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The Royal Family are mourning the sad passing of Queen Elizabeth II, at the age of 96.

The Queen was a huge sports fan, taking on the role as RFU (Rugby Football Union) patron for 64 years before handing over duties to Prince Harry in 2016 and while her well-documented personal affection lay with horses, the Royal family has maintained its long-lasting links with rugby union.

As next-in-line to the throne, Prince William is a keen rugby fan, playing at Eton, and regularly attending Wales games where he has been WRU Patron (Welsh Rugby Union) since 2007. HRH, the Duke of Cambridge was also a notable fan of the British & Irish Lions in New Zealand, training with the squad in 2005.

After serving as RFU (Rugby Football Union) Patron since 2016, enthusiastically supporting the England team, Prince Harry passed over his duties to the Duchess of Cambridge, who is said to be a keen rugby fan, earlier this year.

Princess Anne, daughter of the Queen, is a long-time SRU (Scottish Rugby Union) Patron, having held the position since 1986 and her daughter, Zara Phillips, is married to former England centre and World Cup winner, Mike Tindall. The couple have three children.

Princess Royal’s son Peter Phillips was a talented blindside flanker turning out for a national school’s side against France in 1995, while at Gordonstoun.

The rugby world will mourn her passing and sincere condolences go out to the Royal Family at this difficult time.



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RUGBYPASS+ The major Six Nations concern for Wales and England ahead of RWC 2023 The major Six Nations concern for Wales and England ahead of RWC 2023