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Rugby-mad teenage girl, 17 – whose mother was hugged by the Princess of Wales as she presented her with pair of earrings weeks after her daughter died – was found hanged at home, inquest hears


A rugby-mad teenage girl whose death inspired a gift to the Princess of Wales was found hanged at her home, an inquest heard today.

Isobelle Phipps, 17, died suddenly at the family property in Crowthorne, Berkshire, on April 29, having struggled with depression.

Weeks after the tragedy, her mother, Sarah Renton, shared an emotional moment with Kate, when she came to visit her daughter’s old rugby club in Maidenhead for a charity appeal.

She gave the princess a hug, and told her about Isobelle, known as Issy, before giving her a pair of earrings made by a family friend.

Kate insisted she would wear the jewellery at a later date in Issy’s memory. 

Isobelle Phipps, 17, died suddenly at the family property in Crowthorne, Berkshire, on April 29, having struggled with depression

Isobelle Phipps, 17, died suddenly at the family property in Crowthorne, Berkshire, on April 29, having struggled with depression

Weeks after the tragedy, her mother, Sarah Renton, shared an emotional moment with Kate, when she came to visit her daughter's old rugby club in Maidenhead for a charity appeal

Weeks after the tragedy, her mother, Sarah Renton, shared an emotional moment with Kate, when she came to visit her daughter’s old rugby club in Maidenhead for a charity appeal

She gave the princess a hug, and told her about Isobelle, known as Issy, before giving her a pair of earrings made by a family friend

She gave the princess a hug, and told her about Isobelle, known as Issy, before giving her a pair of earrings made by a family friend

Berkshire coroner Heidi Connor told an inquest opening today that Issy’s body had been identified to police by her neighbour and a cause of death following a post-mortem examination by histo-pathologist Mathilda Ralph was given as suspension.

The circumstances surrounding Issy’s death are still under investigation by police and so a full inquest has not yet been scheduled.

Issy, who was a talented rugby player, joined her local girls team at Maidenhead RFC in 2009 at the age of four years and first played in the under-six squad.

She then went on to play for Reading RFC in 2012 before joining at county level and playing touch rugby for the England’s under-18s team in the European Championships in Vichy, France in 2022, where the team won gold medals.

At the time of her death, Reading RFC paid tribute to her, saying: ‘Issy was rugby-mad and was always a lively member of the squad and will be truly missed. We will continue to provide support in any way we can to any club members affected by this news.’

England Touch also wrote on social media: ‘Issy was part of the Girls 18s England team and played at the 2022 Junior Touch Championships, winning gold in a dramatic match.

‘Issy was a much-loved member of the Girls 18s squad and many in our community have spoken of not just her passion and love for rugby and touch but her desire to share that passion with her peers and those younger than her.’

  • For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, see www.samaritans.org for details 



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