Britain's Prince Harry has spoken of his pride at having England host the Rugby World Cup.
The 30-year-old royal - who is vice patron of the Rugby Football Union (RFU) - and his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, welcomed 400 guests to Buckingham Palace last night (12.10.15) to mark England's staging of the prestigious tournament.
Prince Harry said in a speech: "Although only half way through, we have witness some truly memorable moments, and one or two upsets!
"Each nation has played with a level of commitment that has made this such an exciting and unpredictable tournament, engaging new fans like never before.
"It has also grown into the largest tournament to date.
"We have seen capacity crowds and new Rugby World Cup attendance records."
Expressing his disappointment at England getting knocked out of the competition by Australia earlier this month, he added: "England may no longer be represented on the pitch, but as a nation we are incredibly proud to be hosting such a successful tournament."
Meanwhile, Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw - who led his team to victory against Samoa on the weekend and will now face Australia in the quarter finals - revealed Harry gave the Aussies "a bit of stick" for defeating England.
He told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "Prince Harry asked us how we were getting on. He's quite relaxed and he knows his rugby.
"He admitted [supporting England] and he was giving the Aussie guys a bit of stick as well for what's happened in recent weeks."
And England player James Haskell confessed it was an honour to be invited to Buckingham Palace despite not reaching the quarter finals.
He said: "It's a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet the Queen.
"I drive by Buckingham Palace a lot and have always wondered what it's like to be inside."