The RFU has announced that Prince Harry will be its new patron, following a Buckingham Palace announcement earlier today that Her Majesty The Queen will be handing over the patronage at the end of this year.
The Queen has been patron of the RFU for 64 years having held the role since 1952, after taking over the position from her father, King George VI, following his death.
The Queen has attended numerous rugby matches at Twickenham and two Rugby World Cups in the United Kingdom (1991 and 1999). As one of her last acts as Patron, alongside Prince Philip and Prince Harry, The Queen last year hosted an event at Buckingham Palace during the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Over 400 senior officials from the RFU, England Rugby 2015, World Rugby, players, staff and volunteers working at the tournament attended.
Prince Harry has been Vice Patron of the union since 2010. A big rugby fan, he regularly attends England matches at Twickenham and has supported the work of the RFU and its charities in that time. Prince Harry was also Honorary President of the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Peter Baines, RFU President, said: “It has been a privilege and an honour to have The Queen as Patron of the RFU for over 60 years. She has been a fantastic supporter of the union and we thank her for that and her contribution to the game of rugby in England.”
He added: “We welcome Prince Harry as our new Patron. He has been Vice Patron for a number of years already and a regular at England Tests at Twickenham. He has been a brilliant ambassador of our work in the community and our charities as well as internationally for the union as President of the 2015 Rugby World Cup.”
Report courtesy of the RFU