William and Kate joked about a ‘tense’ journey home following the match in Cardiff
The Prince and Princess of Wales joked about a “tense” journey home following the Six Nations Wales vs England match in Cardiff.
William is patron of the Welsh Rugby Union, while wife Kate is patron of the Rugby Football Union – having taken over the role from the Duke of Sussex last year.
Ahead of the much-anticipated match, the couple met injured players supported by the Welsh Rugby Charitable Trust, of which William is also patron.
They officially opened the Sir Tasker Watkins Suite, a new space at the stadium for use by the injured players and their families ahead of matches.
William wore a red tie in support of Wales, while wife Kate was wearing a red and white dogtooth Catherine Walker coat, described by her husband as “diplomatic”.
He told those at the reception: “I’m looking forward to today. We need a little lift after the past week, don’t we?
“It’s going to be a very tense journey home. If we win today my wife won’t speak to me. It will be a tense evening.”
Kate laughed as she was asked about her support for England during the match.
She said: “The atmosphere is always second-to-none, so I’m looking forward to that.”
The couple spoke of their children George, nine, Charlotte, seven and Louis, four, during their visit.
Kate was told that William had not yet become a father when he first met some of the injured players.
She asked how he was and laughed when she was told William had less lines around his eyes compared to now.
The pair told how George is now learning to tackle rather than playing the non-contact game tag rugby.
“They are trying to teach him the rules,” Kate said.
“They move them around for their confidence. Because he is tall, he has the physique.
“But then there is Louis coming. Charlotte also does rugby.”
Rhian Roberts, 37, is one of 33 people supported by the trust.
She said: “Charlotte has started as well. George has just gone from playing tag rugby to contact rugby.
“It was an honour to see them today. You see them on TV and you pinch yourself that they are sat next to you.”
Gareth Moyle, 68, held Kate’s hand after asking William for an introduction.
“I’ve met William four times,” Mr Moyle said.
“I wanted to meet his young lady and he sorted it out when I told him.”
The match, one of rugby’s fiercest rivalries, was in danger of being called off after a strike threat from Wales’ players due to a dispute over contracts and a restriction on moving overseas.
A settlement was only finalised on Wednesday evening, sparing the Welsh game losing an estimated £9 million generated by a blockbuster home international against England.
In the official programme for the match, Gerald Davies, president of the WRU, described the “solemn time” faced by those in the game.
“It has been a harrowing time, unrelenting in its comment and judgment,” he wrote.
“We are sorry that it has come to this.”
The match was the Welsh men’s team’s second and final home game of the Guinness Six Nations 2023.
Before the national anthems were played, there was a silence to mark the one-year anniversary of the war in Ukraine.
A message on screens in the stadiums read: “Six Nations Rugby, its unions, federations and the entire rugby family continue to stand with Ukraine and strongly condemn the aggressive invasion of their country.”
Published: 25/02/2023 by Radio NewsHub