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Kate Middleton swaps her tennis racket for a rugby ball on her latest royal outing

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  • Ok, we’re officially impressed.

    We can hardly keep up with the Duchess of Cambridge since IRL events resumed.

    Between launching her highly-anticipated Hold Still photography book, hitting the courts with US Open champ Emma Raducanu, and walking the red carpet with the starry cast of the new James Bond film, the duchess has hardly paused for breath in the past few weeks – and we’re loving every moment of it.

    The latest Cambridge outing saw Prince William and Kate fly to Northern Ireland yesterday morning, where they met with university students, and even had a go at holding a giant tarantula spider that shared the name of their daughter, Princess Charlotte. (As you do.)

    The surprise visit took place just hours after the royal couple joined Daniel Craig, Naomie Harris and Billie Eilish at the starry world premiere of No Time To Die at London’s Royal Albert Hall – so William and Kate would’ve been forgiven if they were looking a little bleary eyed as they went about their royal duties.

    Far from it, though. After touring the University of Ulster’s Magee campus in Derry in the morning, the couple paid a visit to the City of Derry Rugby Club, where Kate showed that her sporting talents aren’t just reserved for tennis. (Emma Raducanu said her “forehand is incredible”, ICYMI.)

    Nope, it turns out that the duchess is actually a dab hand at rugby, too.

    Swapping her purple Emilia Wickstead trouser suit for black leggings and a Lululemon jacket, Kate took part in a kick about with the club’s players – proving that her new title as patron of the Rugby Association, which she took over from Prince Harry earlier this year, suits her down to the ground.

    The royal couple also spoke with coaches, players, and volunteers participating in the “Sport Uniting Communities” programme sponsored by the Irish Football Association, Ulster Gaelic Athletic Association and Ulster Rugby, which uses sporting events to promote cross-community peace and reconciliation in the area, following years of sectarian violence wrought by the Troubles.

    “Seeing all the smiling faces outside running around enjoying their sports and having a really good time is just fantastic,” William said of the visit, per Hello. “I think seeing the communities come together and being able to work together, play together, have fun together, is really important—it’s a really strong message.”

    We wonder which sport the duchess will try next…

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