11/25/2012

Prince William and Kate bring smiles to injured rugby players (but not a win)

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Catherine, Duchess  of Cambridge holds a bouquet of flowers as she arrives at the Autumn International rugby match between Wales and New Zealand at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff on Saturday in Wales. (AFP/Getty Images)

There are not many sports rougher than rugby, and it has left a trail of broken bodies through its history as proof.

Nevertheless, it is a passion in many countries, not the least in Britain, so it is no surprise that the Royal Family lends its support. In this case, it is Prince William who carries the banner as Vice-Patron of the Welsh Rugby Union as well as being Patron of the Welsh Rugby Charitable Trust.

2012-11-24T201448Z_01_RLN12_RTRMDNP_3_RUGBY-WALESHe and his wife Kate added a royal touch to the game Satuday as Wales took on New Zealand in the Autumn International match at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales (right). Before the game, the pair attended  reception for the Trust, meeting many former players who have suffered life-altering injuries while playing the sport.

One was Paul Davies, who was paralyzed fom the chest down when his spinal cord was crushed during a match 30 years ago. He stayed with the game, managing the UK's wheelchair team at the 2000 Paralympics.

"To meet the Duke and Duchess is a fantastic honour," he told the Telegraph. "For them to come down and spend time with us, hear our stores and acknowledge the work the Trust does and how important it is to guys like myself, is just the icing on the cake."

Another former player, Philip Harris, was left partially paralzyed because of injuries suffered in a game. Prince William, who joined the Trust last June, left a strong impression on him.

"He is dedicated to this great cause, he's shown that today," Harris, 59, said. "To get somebody of his stature to support us is incredible."

While they lifted spirits off the field, Will and Kate couldn't do much for the Wales team, which fell 33-10 to the All Blacks.

Both royals were dressed appropriately for the occasion, wearing Wales red. William had his in a striped tie, while Kate wore her red LK Bennett Ami coat, last seen during a visit to Copenhagen a year ago.

One of the interesting moments came as the couple signed the stadium guest book, where William found a earlier signature of his. It was when he was 12 years old, and right above his scrawl was the signature of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.

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Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge shares a laugh with other guests at a reception for the Welsh Rugby Charitable Trust ahead of the Autumn International rugby match between Wales  and New Zealand at the Millennium Stadium. (AFP/Getty Images)

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The Duke and Dutchess of Cambridge cheer on Wales in the Autumn International rugby union match against New Zealand. (AFP/Getty Images)

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Catherine talks to Paul Davies, right, a former player and beneficiary of the Charitable Trust which supports injured players in Wales. (AFP/Getty Images)

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Prince William is joined by Kate as he attends the charity trust reception before the Wales-New Zealand match at Millennium Stadium. (Getty Images)

NEWPAPER EDITOR RESIGNS OVER TOPLESS KATE PHOTOS

The editor of the Irish Daily Star resigned on Saturday, more than two months after being suspended in the wake of his paper publishing topless photos of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

The paper's co-owners -- Irish-based Independent News & Media, and Northern and Shell -- had both denounced Michael O'Kane's decision to publish the pictures in the tabloid after they had appeared in the French magazine Closer. Independent News & Media said in a statement Saturday that after considering "issues" around the photos, it was O'Kane's decision to resign.

The images were captured by a still-unidentified photographer while Kate and Prince William were sunbathing at a chateau in the south of France.

While publications in other European countries also published the pictures, none showed up in British media, though they were widely circulated on the internet. French police are  investigating the incident.

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