It had been billed as a possible moment for the the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex to be seen side by side for the first time since the recent round of speculation about their brotherly bond. Both were tipped to make the trip to Japan for the Rugby World Cup final if Wales had joined England in the showdown match.
However, Wales were beaten in the last four by South Africa on Sunday. The team were squeezed out 19-16 by the Springboks. Prince William is the Patron of Welsh Rugby Union and had been hotly tipped to head to Japan for the final should his side reach the showpiece game. There have also been reports that Prince Harry, Patron of England Rugby Union, would be there after his team made the final. It’s now likely that any royal representation would be limited to the Duke of Sussex.
There is always the possibility that William will go too as Wales will now face New Zealand in the third place play off.
Both brothers are known for their love of sport and for their support of their respective rugby sides. The Duke of Sussex took to Instagram on Saturday to congratulate England for their famous win against the All Blacks in the semi finals, hailed by some commentators as the best display of professional rugby in years.
And William offered his support to Wales on Twitter after their loss, hailing their performance as ”heroic” and praising the leadership of captain, Alun Wyn Jones, before adding ” you can all hold your heads high from an incredible tournament, we’re all so proud of you. W”.
The Welsh side got a royal boost earlier in the week as they prepared for their semi final match. The Prince of Wales dropped in to see the squad in training during his visit to Japan for the enthronement of Emperor Naruhito.
In the past week, there has been debate about how well William and Harry are getting along after the Duke of Sussex told the ITV programme, Harry and Meghan: An African Journey, that the brothers have good days and bad days when asked if there was a rift between them. However, Harry also underlined how much he loved his brother and said he would always be there for him.