Royal reception at Buckingham Palace to mark Rugby World Cup

Cllr Michael Stokes
Cllr Michael Stokes

The leader of Rugby Borough Council was a guest at a special reception hosted by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the Rugby World Cup.

Cllr Michael Stokes joined representatives from each of the 20 teams competing at the World Cup and organisers of the tournament at Monday’s reception.

Her Majesty was accompanied by the Princess Royal, patron of the Scottish Rugby Union, and Prince Harry, honorary president of England 2015 and vice-patron of the Rugby Football Union.

During the reception Cllr Stokes spoke with the Queen, who asked about Rugby’s World Cup celebrations and wished the town success throughout the tournament.

Cllr Stokes was invited to Buckingham Palace after Rugby was named an official Host City for Rugby World Cup 2015 and designated Proud Home status.

During the tournament the town’s official Fanzone has screened live matches and, as the Rugby Village, hosted a packed programme of entertainment and events as part of the Enjoy Rugby Festival.

An estimated 30,000 people have visited the Fanzone to watch the World Cup action since the tournament kicked off on 18 September.

Cllr Stokes said: “It was a great honour to attend the reception and represent the birthplace of the game at Buckingham Palace.

“Since the start of the tournament we have welcomed thousands of visitors to Rugby and attracted media coverage from all over the world.

“The council has made a significant investment to maximise the opportunities created by the Rugby World Cup and deliver a lasting legacy for our residents.

“But it’s the passion which has been invested by so many people - the volunteers, businesses and residents who have supported us throughout the tournament - that has made our World Cup celebrations such a success.

“Together, we can take great pride in our borough and its heritage as the Proud Home of the game.”