Eddie Redmayne opens up about playing rugby with Prince William and meeting the Queen: ‘She is so cool’

By Meaghan Wray

Though Eddie Redmayne hasn’t kept in touch with Prince William since they were pals at Eton College, the British actor isn’t without a few stories of his royal encounters! While appearing on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, the actor opened up about why he felt sorry for the prince when they played rugby together and what it was like to meet the Queen while accepting his MBE.

Answering a caller question, the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them star laughed while opening up about his experience playing the British sport with William: “I always felt a bit sorry for him because basically any school you’d play, all they wanted to do was tackle Prince William in order for them to say ‘I tackled Prince William,’” he joked. “So, if you were standing next to Prince William, it was actually quite easy and quite fun!” The two were elected to The Eton Society, which is an elite group of elected prefects, the Daily Mail reported. “He took all the hits,” he told the publication of their time on the Colts B ruby team in 1997. “I haven’t seen him since school, but he was a lovely man.”

The actor received his MBE in 2017. Photo: © Steve Parsons-WPA Pool/Getty Images

Two years ago, the Oscar-winning actor traveled to Buckingham Palace as one of the lucky ones to receive an MBE from Her Majesty and took along his beautiful wife, publicist Hannah Bagshawe. When asked by a caller what the most nerve-wracking part of the experience was, the 36-year-old responded: “Can I tell you the oddest part? So, you go to Windsor Castle and you cue up alongside like, some of these extraordinary people who’ve genuinely done brilliant things and you’re an actor and you feel a bit of a shmuck,” he said with a laugh.

The father of two continued: “And then you go through a door to meet the Queen and in that room, [a] huge assembly room of people, it’s all royal and palatial. And there’s a string quartet playing music and just as I was about to go in, you think it’s classical music, and I suddenly heard them playing Coldplay!” While that experience was a bit disorienting, meeting the Queen definitely lived up to his expectations, sharing: “[The Queen] is so cool. I don’t remember her being small, but I was pretty nervous.”

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