The Princess of Wales has today met with local and national rugby players at a local rugby club.

A patron of the Rugby Football Union, Princess Kate spent time at Maidenhead Rugby Club discussing childhood experiences and the role community settings can play in supporting children and parents.

The visit forms part of her Shaping Us campaign which was launched in January 2023 with the aim to raise awareness of the critical importance of early childhood The campaign also highlights that through time and support, we can make a huge difference to the physical and mental health and happiness of generations to come.

During Princess Kate's time at the club, she took part in walking rugby drills on the pitch alongside players.

She got stuck in and helped score several goals, with players saying she had "good hands".

One player told her "you did well", while Fergal Scully, 22, who plays for Maidenhead Rugby Club said: "She's better than a lot of players - she should sign up."

"She was really nice and down to earth. It wasn't what I was expecting at all."

Stephen Bough, Chairman of Maidenhead Rugby Club said: "She dived in head first. She was one of the team, she mucked in like everyone else. She was lovely."

Princess Kate later spoke with the players adding that it was good that they have got downtime now the children have finished half term.

Her Royal Highness then head into the clubhouse for a conversation with the players and was joined by Shaping Us champion and former England rugby player Ugo Monye and Si Trower, the founder of the mental health charity Brave Mind.

Together they discussed early childhood experiences, fatherhood, and the impact that settings such as local sports clubs can have in creating a network of support around those who are raising children.

Princess Kate said: "There's such a wealth of knowledge out there which isn't always translated." 

She went on to say that she didn't feel like there was enough information out there when she was a first-time parent.

Si Trower added: "You don't prepare yourself for fatherhood - lack of sleep, feeding time, spare rooms. It's really hard."

Princess Kate later described children as a "bundle of feelings" discussing with the rugby players how they felt looking back at their early experiences, and the importance of the first five years of life.

Maidenhead RFC is a vibrant, inclusive sports club with over 800 members which has served the local community for over 90 years.