Watch: Kate replaces Harry as rugby patron
The Duchess of Cambridge is well known for her love of sport. Tennis, netball, running, cycling, ping-pong- she's tried them all and more. She's been patron of the Lawn Tennis Association and Croquet Club since 2016, and presents the men's Wimbledon trophy annually.
A keen player herself, the Duchess supports the club's aim to promote tennis to young people. She's also a patron of SportsAid, which helps future sports stars by funding their early career years.
Now, she has another role - as patron of the Rugby Football Union and the Rugby Football League.
These royal patronages used to belong to Prince Harry.
The Duke, a passionate rugby fan who celebrated with England when they won the rugby union World Cup in 2003, had acted as RFU patron since 2016 and patron of RFL since 2017, taking over the roles from his grandmother.
But since he and Meghan left Royal duties and moved to LA, he no longer has the position and Kate has been asked by the Queen to take over.
She was given the royal patronages by The Queen, and Kensington Palace said the high-profile sporting appointments “closely align with Her Royal Highness’ long-standing passion for sport and the lifelong benefits it can provide”.
It makes the Duchess the first member of the royal family to officially receive one of the Sussexes’ past patronages - the confirmation comes ahead of the start of the Guinness Six Nations tournament this weekend. In a new video released by Kensington Palace to mark the transfer, Kate can be seen passing a rugby ball to players.
In personal message accompanying the clip on social media, she said: “I am so thrilled to become patron of the @TheRFL and @EnglandRugby. Two fantastic organisations who are committed to harnessing the power that sport can have in bringing communities together and helping individuals flourish.
“I look forward to working with them across all levels of the games, and to cheering England on in what promises to be an exciting year for both sports! C.”
When the Cambridges occasionally write messages themselves, they sign them with an initial, suggesting that Kate is determined to get involved at ground level.
England’s first Six Nations game at Twickenham is against Wales on February 26, following away games against Scotland and Italy.
However, there is one fly in the scrum: Kate’s new affiliation with England Rugby puts her in direct competition with husband the Duke of Cambridge, who is the Welsh Rugby Union’s patron. There may be some celebrating in different rooms of Kensington Palace, during future games.
RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney said: “We know the support of the Duchess will be greatly valued from our grassroots clubs and fast-growing women and girls’ game, right up to our elite men’s and women’s England teams.”
And Chief executive of the RFL Ralph Rimmer said: “We look forward to working with the duchess in the years to come and I know all levels of our sport will welcome her to the rugby league family.”
Kate will have to juggle her time - she is also patron of many health, children's and Arts charities and organisations. In her free time, however, sport is her go-to hobby for fun and relaxation, and she has never shied away from having a go at new activities on official visits.
Back in September last year, she tackled abseiling and mountain biking on a visit to Cumbria to re-open the RAF Air Cadets’ Windermere Training Centre. "What could go wrong?" she joked, as she tried out a mountain bike.
She next popped on a helmet and abseiled down a cliff face - and though her security detail may have been a little white-knuckled, Kate was entirely unfazed, saying: "Very cool!" as she reached the ground.
The Duchess is just as happy in a boat - a source told Vanity Fair magazine that the Cambridges spent last summer learning to sail near their Norfolk home,
Kate was captain of her hockey team at Marlborough and also committed to rowing and netball, while William played rugby and football for Eton and was known to excel at swimming and cross country, as well as Polo.
At St Andrews University, where they met, Kate was in the tennis and swimming teams and often got up early to go rowing.
As if that's not enough, she keeps fit by running regularly, and both are very competent skiers, as Kate demonstrated on a royal trip to Klosters back in 2004, where they were first 'outed' as a couple.
The one thing she doesn't do - unlike William's aunt Anne and cousin Zara - is ride horses. She's thought to be allergic to them.
But it's not a terrible loss, because with a packed programme of sporting events, it's hard to imagine how she'd have time to fit anything else in.
Additional reporting, PA
Watch: Duchess of Cambridge releases video after taking on rugby patronages