The Princess of Wales brought back an Alexander McQueen design for today’s Rugby League World Cup quarter-final match between England and Papua New Guinea.
This was the first match the Princess attended in her role as patron of the Rugby Football League. According to The Evening Standard’s story, “…the princess was cheered by the crowd of 23,179 supporters as she walked onto the pitch to shake hands with players from both teams before the match kicked off.”
The match was at DW Stadium in Wigan, located midway between Liverpool and Manchester.
The Rugby League World Cup was originally scheduled to for 2021 but was postponed a year because of issues related to the pandemic. More from Hello’s coverage.
Simon Johnson, chair of the RFL, said: “We will be delighted and honoured to welcome the Princess of Wales for the first time as the RFL’s Royal Patron.
“With both our England Women and Men’s teams playing important World Cup matches on Saturday, her presence will enhance a special occasion for our sport, for the World Cup and for the famous rugby league town of Wigan.”
The Rugby League World Cup 2021 (RLWC2021) marks a breakthrough moment in the history of the tournament, with the men’s, women’s and wheelchair World Cup competitions being staged alongside one another for the first time.
The Princess spent time on the pitch before the match.
She spoke with players, mascots, coaches, and other officials. More from Wigan Today’s coverage.
Kate also congratulated the England Physical Disability Rugby League (PDRL) team on winning the first PDRL World Cup after beating New Zealand in the final last Sunday.
She also spoke to representatives from groups who have played a part in the delivery of the Rugby League World Cup Social Impact Programme.
Here you see her talking with Papua New Guinea Captain Rhyse Martin.
And with England players.
In this photo, it looks like she is crossing her fingers for an England win while chatting with England’s Sam Tomkins.
Chatting with some of the mascots.
She seemed to have quite a giggle while speaking with them.
Kate, with an umbrella to cover her from the rain, clapped during a moment of “non-silence” held to mark the tournament’s Movember Mental Fitness Match Day – with the aim of combating the damaging impact that silence can have upon men’s mental wellbeing.
Here is a portion of that non-silent minute.
???? A moment of non-silence.
Thank you to everyone at the DW Stadium for supporting our Mental Fitness Matchday with Movember.
— Rugby League World Cup 2021 (@RLWC2021) November 5, 2022
More about the Movember Mental Fitness Day from the Movember site.
The Mental Fitness Match Day will take place during Movember’s annual fundraising campaign in November 2021 and will raise awareness of the outstanding work the organisation will have delivered along with Rugby League Cares by harnessing the global scale and reach of RLWC2021 to make a difference to communities in England.
The national anthem.
The Princess as she takes her seat.
The Daily Mail reports, “Once the game got underway, Kate took her place in the Royal box where she was pictured speaking with BBC sports presenter Clare Balding – who is President of the Rugby Football League….”. (As an aside, I saw the seating area described as the Director’s Box in other articles, and don’t know quite what term is appropriate.)
In this photo you can see England women’s players Jodie Cunningham (left) and Emily Rudge.
Ms. Cunningham tweeted about sitting next to the Princess of Wales.
So this actually just happened… ????
Such an honour to meet the Princess of Wales and watch the England men’s game with her ????????????????????????????
Memories to last a lifetime with @emrudge ????
— Jodie Cunningham (@Jodie_cunny) November 5, 2022
As did Ms. Rudge.
How unreal that me and @Jodie_cunny got to sit with HRH Princess of Wales for the second half of ENG vs PNG! ???????????? So lovely to meet @KensingtonRoyal and chat about our amazing sport RUGBY LEAGUE ????????❤️???????????????????????????? Thank you to @RLWC2021 and @TheRFL for the incredible opportunities ???????????? pic.twitter.com/OJkG9WXbMV
— Emily Rudge (@emrudge) November 5, 2022
At halftime, the Princess met with the members of the England Women’s Rugby League team.
England beat Canada in their match earlier today. Below, the Princess chatting with Canadian captain Gabrielle Hindley.
And a group photo to memorialize the occasion.
It looked like a fierce match, but England was victorious, with a final score of 46 to 6.
England produced a royal performance as they moved two wins away from being crowned kings of the world.
With the Princess of Wales cheering from the DW Stadium stands, Shaun Wane’s regal side ran in nine tries against Papua New Guinea to storm into the last four of the Rugby League World Cup.
The team will take on either Tonga or Samoa for a place in the World Cup final.
Now for our look at what Kate wore for the rugby match.
She brought back the double-breasted Alexander McQueen coat first worn for the October 2020 Hold Still community launch, and seen again in December 2020 as the royal train tour concluded. As several commented on Facebook, it does look like there has been some tailoring done; it doesn’t seem quite so boxy.
UPDATE NOV 15: We are in a situation where we have two companies confirming the top is their design. Here are the original text and photo from the post: “The Princess wore what looks like the Costa Turtleneck ($590) by Gabriela Hearst. The piece is a silk/cashmere blend, in a color called Windsor Wine. Thanks for this ID go to Middleton Maven.
Today (November 15), Kiltane Scotland confirmed on Twitter it is their Cashmere Polo Neck Jumper ($117). The Kiltane design is 100% cashmere with rubbing at the cuff and neck, in a color called Bordeaux. The company has been in business since 1989 and is based in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Middleton Maven shared an email with me that she received from Gabriela Hearst saying the piece is their design. It looks like we are in one of those situations where we may never know which item the Princess wore. It makes sense she would patronize a UK designer like Kiltane, but she has also worn Gabriela Hearst before (here and here).
The skirt appears to be a Boden design, a past-season skirt called the Kristen. The Kristen skirts I saw available through resale sites are 100% polyester, with a concealed side zipper. Thank you to Laura for this ID.
UPDATE NOV 9: This tweet from Danielle offers a better look at the skirt.
— Danielle (@DanielleMagness) November 5, 2022
Laura suggests the style might be this CO Pleated Skirt ($695) in a color called Cabernet. There was also a Zara past-season skirt that was mentioned, but unfortunately, I forgot to bookmark it and now cannot find the info or photos. If I do find it, I will add it to the post.
The Princess sported a new (at least to us) pair of dark brown suede boots. They are similar to the Gianvito Rossi pair seen below left, but that boot’s heel isn’t high enough and it doesn’t have a zipper. They’re also similar to the Aquatalia Leora on the right, but the Aquatalia soles are dark, while the Princess’s are light. There are other Gianvito Rossi styles that are close, but they don’t look like an identical boot. I will take a look later tonight and see what I can find. UPDATE NOV 9: Middleton Maven shared news today from Gianvito Rossi that the boots are their design, a pair custom-made for the Princess.
One other note today about an upcoming holiday event. The Princess of Wales will host another Christmas carol service this year. It will honor Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and be taped at Westminster Abbey on the 15th for broadcast on Christmas Eve on ITV. Below, a photo from last year’s event.
Here is how the news of this year’s event was announced by Kensington Palace.
A date for your diary this December! ????????
— The Prince and Princess of Wales (@KensingtonRoyal) November 4, 2022
ADDED NOV 9: This video from the Rugby League World Cup office has more than a minute from Saturday’s engagement.
???? We were honoured to welcome the RFL’s patron, the Princess of Wales to our double-header at the DW Stadium on Saturday.
— Rugby League World Cup 2021 (@RLWC2021) November 8, 2022
The Royal Family Channel offers about three minutes of coverage in this video.
This video covers the Princess’s meeting with the England Women’s Team.
This video from the Rugby League World Cup runs about one minute.