Rugby Football chiefs were ‘blindsided’ by Prince Harry’s removal as their patron

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, visits the Twickenham Stoop in London

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s remaining “private” patronages are beyond thrilled that they have such active and engaged patrons. But what about the patronages which were taken away from Harry and Meghan by the palace? Well, since Buckingham Palace was a ball of chaos last week as they threw together their punitive actions against H&M, they didn’t even consult with the patronages to tell them that they were losing their charismatic patrons. Which is why the Rugby Football League is making it clear that this was never their call, and that they loved having Harry as their patron, and that they would love to keep him in some kind of role.

The Rugby Football League will be missing their beloved patron. Buckingham Palace confirmed in a statement on Friday that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry — who left full-time royal work in March 2020 — will officially not be returning to their royal roles. As part of stepping down, the couple will no longer keep their patronages (their royal involvement with numerous U.K. charities). Trusts and patronages will now revert back to Queen Elizabeth, 94, who will then distribute them among other working royals.

Two of those patronages were the Rugby Football Union and the Rugby Football League, which may see Prince William stepping in the vacant role, according to a report from The Telegraph.

“There will be a lot of disruption. The World Cup is in autumn and Prince Harry was expected to be front and center of that,” a source from the Rugby Football League reportedly told the outlet, which also reported: “There have been rumors that he could have some role, that there could be some middle ground, but whether that is feasible I don’t know.”

The Rugby Football League source added, “We were completely blindsided by the news to be honest. We were very keen to keep Prince Harry, he’s been fantastic.” The World Cup is expected to take place in northern England.

A source close to the Rugby Football League told The Telegraph: “The World Cup is going to take place in the north of England, which is very significant at this time and very important for the royal household to acknowledge and get behind, particularly as it will be happening in many towns where major events are not usually held. The Duke of Sussex was a high profile figure who embraced the World Cup and we hope the next appointment will be a continuation of that.” A spokesperson for the Rugby Football Union did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

The Rugby Football Union and the Rugby Football League made sure to thank Harry for serving as their patrons and shared photos of the Queen’s grandson at some of their events over the years. “We would like to thank Prince Harry for his time and commitment to the Rugby Football Union both in his position as Patron and Vice Patron,” the Rugby Football Union said in a statement. “The RFU has greatly valued his contribution to promoting and supporting the game. We look forward to welcoming the Duke and Duchess of Sussex back to Twickenham at some point in the future.”

[From People]

The Rugby League chiefs are making it 100% clear that they don’t want to lose Harry, and that they were NOT consulted by the Palace. Again, one of the Palace’s many cover stories is that the Queen knew she was going to force the Sussexes out and that this had all been planned. So why didn’t ANYONE talk to the rugby peeps? Obviously, there’s a rumor that William will take over the role, but William apparently doesn’t want to look like he’s stepping into all of Harry’s old roles. So… after all of that, it would be sort of funny if William and Kate didn’t end up taking over any of Harry and Meghan’s old patronages. I mean, that was never Camp Cambridge’s goal – they will never WANT to take on more work, and the goal of the Sussexes’ exile was never to have William and Kate ride in to save the day. Please, Will and Kate aren’t capable of thinking that far ahead. Clearly, none of the rest of the Windsors are either. The Queen had a bloody year to prepare for this mess and it was still half-assed. Not only that, it exposed her short-sighted vindictive streak – not only does she want to punish Harry and Meghan, she wants to punish everyone around Harry and Meghan. Anyway, I feel for the rugby peeps. (What’s with the rose in this announcement? I’m sure it’s a rugby thing but it’s also just funny, given Will’s keenness for rose bushes.)

The Duke of Sussex, Patron, visited the Rugby Football Union (RFU) All Schools programme at Lealands High School in Luton

Photos courtesy of WENN, Backgrid, Avalon Red.

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52 Responses to “Rugby Football chiefs were ‘blindsided’ by Prince Harry’s removal as their patron”

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  1. Seraphina says:

    I read this last night and was smiling from ear to ear. They made it very clear they are not happy and threw some shade in there as well. I respect that 😉

    • Grumpier than thou says:

      I read an article using part of these quotes basically framed as the rugby league being desperate for William. So stupid, not sure who the BM think they’re kidding at this point.

    • Jess says:

      I hope harry gets involved with AMERICAN FOOTBALL so these assholes continue to foam at the mouth. Yall know these brits are going to be madT.

      • Wiglet Watcher says:

        American football is all kinds of scandalous and awful.
        Maybe American rugby which is still a thing would be nice.

      • Seraphina says:

        I don’t see H&M getting involved with the any American Sports team. They make millions and treat athletes horribly once they have squeezed every ounce of juice out of them. And yes, let’s not even go to the subject of all the scandals.

      • Ed says:

        I will say yes

      • tcbc says:

        They’re in one of the areas of the US that has a pretty strong polo culture, so I can see him doing that. Or perhaps partnering with programs that encourage and support black women and women of color in tennis, since Indian Wells is in California and it’s long had issues with racism, particularly against Meghan’s friend and GOAT, Serena Williams.

      • Moxylady says:

        M and H should get involved with women’s soccer. They are under paid horrifically when compared to their male counterparts.

  2. Snuffles says:

    This just proves that these organizations are just pawns in the royal game and the family actually doesn’t give a shit about them.

  3. Myra says:

    I’m sure these organisations can get him back as a private patron. Not sure if it would go down well with the family though. If these organisations receive public funds, then it might be more difficult. Hope it works out for them. It’s incredibly rude not to consult these organisations.

    • Snuffles says:

      That’s my question. Do these organizations receive government funding? Because, if yes, they will be forced to put up with whatever lazy royal that is assigned to them. If not, then they are free to do whatever they want without any real repercussions.

      • Chica says:

        If they receive government funding, how much? Didn’t some of Kate’s patronage’s go under? Seems like it should be a question of which route provides the most funding, support and exposure. There are thousands of royal patronage’s so it seems like a dilution effect after the first fifty. One visit per royal every two years etc.

    • Courtney B says:

      Yeah, it may difficult and Harry wouldn’t want them to feel awkward especially if another royal—and especially William—gets it. I hope he sends out messages of support at major times though. Hopefully they’ll get an archewell Instagram or Twitter (and disable comments ).

    • Jo73c says:

      public funds would be from the government, not the RF

  4. Karin says:

    Not sure how William can take over the Rugby England patronage, as he’s already the patron of the Welsh Rugby Union. He’s always supported Wales & Harry’s supported England. Can’t see how Wills can do both…

    I’m pretty sure the rose stands for England, as it’s their emblem/logo…

    (I’m not 100% sure, but my boyfriend is a HUGE rugby nerd, so…)

    • antipodean says:

      You are exactly right@Karin. The red rose is the symbol for the English Rugby Union, always has been. I had to laff Kaiser at you mentioning the irony of the red rose in conjunction with Big Willy’s wandering proclivities! Very apropos.

    • Sof says:

      Yes, England has the rose and Wales has the ‘Prince of Wales’s feathers’, which, I don’t know, it would have made more sense if Charles was their patron, right? Unless they wanted a younger person.

      • Lena says:

        I assume the thought was that Prince William is the future prince of Wales, so he could be seen as always the supporter of wales. . And having Harry for England and William for Wales was a nice Kind of symmetry.

  5. Michelle Connolly says:

    I’m so glad they’re being honest about not being consulted or informed, at least they are speaking some truth! Also the rose represents the England rugby team, they wear the symbol of the red rose on their shirts. Same as shamrocks in Irish rugby and the thistle in Welsh.

  6. Tx_mom says:

    I’m enjoying a vision of Harry and Will both being huge Rugby events as independent patrons. BWAHAHAHA That will never happen because Will will be afraid of getting quieter applause!

  7. Courtney B says:

    Did you see the armed forces paid tribute to Harry as well? A whole video. :)

  8. Cecilia says:

    Like i said: the Windsors aren’t here for the charities, the charities are here for the windsors so they have a excuse to maintain their lifestyle.

    If royalty is really about public service like the queen said it was they would listen to the patronages and listen to what THEY want.

  9. Mina_Esq says:

    The patronages are the only ones getting hurt by this vindictive decision. There are hundreds of thousands of worthy causes that would love to have H and M as their champions. The Queen can’t prevent H and M from working and doing good work for worthy causes. I know nothing about this sport or its connection to royal patronages, but I think it’d be funny if Harry were to be invited to be the patron of another country’s rugby league and union lol

  10. Becks1 says:

    This makes the royal family look so petty and its apparent that they dont care about these organizations. I’m glad the rugby orgs are speaking out even somewhat.

  11. Dana says:

    When I read about the “working” royals and the mess that is Brexit, I cannot understand how the UK justifies paying these clowns.

  12. Oh_Hey says:

    Oh yeah this change was totally planned and not at all a reaction to that interview announcement. So planned that no one at the patronages even had final confirmation. /s

    I’m over this – the BRF really can’t tell how this makes them look? Really? The organizations are openly either upset they lost good patrons and happy that their patronage isn’t the one that got the chop. SMDH.

    • Lucky Charm says:

      No, I don’t think it ever occurred to BP to consult/inform the organizations they were losing their patrons the Duke/Duchess of Sussex. Because those patronages are handed out/taken back by the Queen seemingly at will, they probably don’t even merit consideration let alone discussion. It’s like handing out a chore list to your kids each week – ok, Kid A no longer has to wash the dishes, that will be Kid B’s job now. Kid A has to clean the bathrooms this week.

  13. Clatie says:

    Is there any way these articles could be gathered in a round up or digest format? They take so much space on this site and I have no interest in reading them. All that do – enjoy! But maybe there’s a way that they could be organized a little differently? Thanks! And, again, read exactly what you want to and enjoy it.

    • Chaine says:

      Just read the titles and skip the posts you don’t want to read? That’s what I used to do when every other article was about Benedict Cummerbund. 🤣

  14. Duch says:

    Do you think they’d give it to Zara? isn’t her husband a former rugby player? but she isn’t a working royal, so maybe her mother, with the 2 of them participating a lot?

    • Humbugged says:

      Anne is the Patron of the SRU which has done for more than 30 years and pics of her of here 3 weeks ago watching Scotland beat England and Peter even played for the Scottish 18′s

  15. jferber says:

    Emm, I take your point, but remember that with voter suppression and gerrymandering in the U.S., the voting pool is shrinking to include only white people and Rethugs right now have hundreds of new voter suppression laws in state legislators. Because black and brown people are not “legitimate” citizens or voters.

  16. Amy Bee says:

    These patronages are just pawn in the game that the Royals play to appear to be doing public service. They do not care about any of the organisations or charities, if they did they would have left Harry and Meghan as patrons.

  17. nutella toast says:

    On a completely shallow note, Harry is the only male royal I can look at for longer than 3 sec – that’s some gingery goodness right there. They are losing someone who actually appears to like humans and care deeply for the organizations he supports, loves and fights for and alongside his his smart, gorgeous, feisty wife, and is easy on the eyes. I couldn’t care less about the royals without Harry and Meg.

  18. Jessica says:

    The behavior of the Royal Family, the courtiers and the British press (by and large) has disgusted me to no end these last few years, but this past week has been ridiculous. I set up recurring donations to Smart Works, The Mayhew and Well Child and also donated to the women’s shelter in Texas Archewell just gave a donation to (Genesis Women’s Shelter). Motivated by spite at the hateful press and support for these great causes. The Sussexes will be fine and will continue doing great work without you nasty, irrelevant old gasbags!

  19. Charfromdarock says:

    Any other Royal assigned a patronage is a downgrade from Harry and/or Meghan.

  20. Over it says:

    Kaiser, I look forward to your saucy takes on these stories daily. Lololol. Your always spot on in your observations.

  21. SarahCS says:

    Am I the only person hoping that the choice of the term ‘blindsided’ was on purpose but someone who has been paying attention the the BRF?

  22. Jessie says:

    I hope Harry and Meghan know just how many people there are here in the UK who see straight through this cult of a family and are 100% behind them every step of the way.

  23. February-Pisces says:

    I think the Keens would absolutely love to take over all of harry and meghans patronage’s. I think they would feel pretty victorious about stealing what belonged to them. They would make it look like the queen was rewarding them for being so ‘dutiful’ and they would get to complain about how ‘exhausted’ they are. They press will give them saint hoods and they won’t even have to do any extra work, because we all know the Keens visit their patrons once ever 8 years, so all that praise without lifting a damn finger. Seriously why do people still support them?

    But if they don’t get them, then my theory about the queen despising them may be correct.