Back at it! Prince William returned to the polo field after a lengthy break to play in a charity match while wife Duchess Kate remained isolated after a COVID-19 exposure.
The Duke of Cambridge, 39, participated in the Out-Sourcing Inc. Royal Charity Polo Cup 2021 at Guards Polo Club Windsor on Friday, July 9. The match raised money and awareness for multiple organizations that he and Kate, 39, support, including Tusk, Centrepoint, London Air Ambulance, Fields in Trust, The Forward Trust, Family Action, Mountain Rescue England and Wales and East Anglia Children’s Hospices.
William looked as skilled as ever despite taking some time away from the sport amid the coronavirus pandemic. One of his most recent public matches was in July 2019, when he competed against Prince Harry during the King Power Royal Charity Polo Day. Kate, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, Meghan Markle and Archie notably attended the function, marking the first joint outing for the cousins. Kate and Meghan were spotted watching their husbands from the sidelines as they kept their kids entertained. The event occurred days after Archie’s christening, for which William and Kate were present.
Meghan and Harry announced their royal exit in January 2020 and subsequently relocated to California. The couple welcomed daughter Lilibet in June.
Kate skipped the Friday match after Kensington Palace confirmed on Monday, July 5, that she was exposed to COVID-19.
“Last week, the Duchess of Cambridge came into contact with someone who has subsequently tested positive for COVID-19,” a spokesperson said in a statement. “Her Royal Highness is not experiencing any symptoms, but is following all relevant government guidelines and is self-isolating at home.”
William carried on with the pair’s planned events, hosting the NHS Big Tea alone on Monday. The celebration, held at Buckingham Palace, honored the U.K.’s National Health Service’s 73rd anniversary. The gathering was meant to be a return to garden parties after the pandemic forced the royal family to cancel them for more than a year. Queen Elizabeth II gave the duo permission to host the fête.
Earlier this month, Kate was not in attendance for the unveiling of a statue in honor of the late Princess Diana. Instead, William and Harry, 36, debuted the piece without any other members of the royal family present.
“Out of respect for Harry and William, [the royal family] wanted it to be just about Diana’s sons and not a huge public affair,” a source exclusively told Us Weekly. “Kate was definitely supporting William while physically not being there and really wanted to attend, but the family as a whole decided it was best for the kids and her to stay home.”
Scroll through the gallery below to see more photos of William’s return to polo!