The Duke of Cambridge and sport

The Duke of Cambridge is a keen sportsman who has advocated the power of sport to effect change, transform lives, and bring people together.

The Duke of Cambridge holds a number of patronages and associations which reflect his sporting passions and celebrate the very best of British sporting traditions. 

In 2014, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge accepted Honorary Life Membership of the Marylebone Cricket Club (also known as Lords), of which The Prince of Wales is also a member.

With his brother Prince Harry, The Duke of Cambridge shares a passion for Rugby and is Vice-Royal patron of the Welsh Rugby Union since 2006, and also became Patron of the Welsh Rugby Charitable Trust in 2012.

In 2006 The Duke of Cambridge, a keen Aston Villa fan, also became President of The Football Association, and has regularly attended both FA Cup finals and England games. 

Within this role, he has supported the provision of world class facilities for our national team, and opened The St Georges Park national Football Centre in 2012 together with his wife The Duchess of Cambridge. 

He has also celebrated the work of the volunteers in grassroots football, as he hosted a football match at Buckingham Palace in 2012, where 150 people were honored for their work. The Duke of Cambridge said of the game: "At its best, football is a powerful force for good in society. It binds people from different backgrounds, communities, faiths and abilities and gives them a common interest, a unifying identity." 

The Duke supported the England Women's team during the 2016 World Cup, visiting the team in preparation at St George's Park training camp to wish them luck before the tournament, and inviting the team to Kensington Palace on return.

Promoting Access to Sport

The Duke of Cambridge is following both a Royal and a family tradition in improving access to sports facilities. 

The Duke of Cambridge became patron of Fields in Trust in 2013, a charity founded by King George V in 1925, in order to continue the tradition of protecting open spaces for people to get out and enjoy sports. His Royal Highness took over this patronage rom his  Grandfather, The Duke of Edinburgh, who was President of Fields in Trust for 64 years.

As a new father, I appreciate the importance of allowing our children the freedom to experience the great outdoors, whether that means developing their talent on the sports field, learning about nature around us, or simply letting off steam in the local park

The Duke of Cambridge

In 2013, The Duke of Cambridge as Patron of the English Schools Swimming Association, also called for school swimming to be accessible for all children at all primary schools when he recorded a short video message for the charity. 

David Sparkes, Chief Executive of the ASA said at the time: “The ASA’s vision is that that every child should have the right and opportunity to learn to swim to help achieve a fitter, healthier and perhaps above all a safer generation of young people. I am delighted that His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge supports this vision and has provided support to our campaign. I am in no doubt that this support will help drive awareness around the importance of swimming, a life-saving skill, being accessible to every child in primary school.”

A keen swimmer, who represented his university at Water Polo, The Duke of Cambridge also succeeded The Prince of Wales as Patron of the British Sub Aqua Club. In July 2014 donned a wetsuit and joined his Father at a Scuba centre in London to meet the next generation of divers.  

His Royal Highness has also used his own foundation The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, to develop the Coach Core programme. Coach Core aims to improve the quality and availability of sports coaching and mentoring in inner city schools, by training young people to provide these services in their own communities. 

Sporting Tradition

His Royal Highness has represented the Royal Family at some major national sporting moments which have united communities behind a common goal. 

The Duke of Cambridge was chosen together with his wife, The Duchess of Cambridge and his brother Prince Harry, as a Special Ambassador for Team GB during the London 2012 Olympics. This role recognised their unique international profile and the work they have done to promote sports for young people and to support promising athletes.

Their Royal Highnesses joined forces again in 2014 to support both The Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, and The Tour de France Grand Depart in Yorkshire, where they officially opened the race at Harewood House.

The Duke of Cambridge, in his capacity as Vice-Patron of the Welsh Rugby Union, took an active role in supporting the 2015 England Rugby World Cup. The Duke joined Prince Harry and The Duchess of Cambridge at the opening ceremony at Twickenham and a number of matches over the course of the tournament.