There is a reason...
Words by Jadie Troy-Pryde
Wimbledon is the hallmark of a British summer. This year we’ve had perfect weather for the tennis tournament, and we’ve seen the best players in the world come together to battle it out for the title. It’s not quite over yet, but the competition has already seen its fair share of controversies, from Venus Williams breaking a major tennis rule to Andy Murray’s blistering response to a reporter’s casual sexism.
But there’s one question that you may be asking yourself about Wimbledon – why has the Queen only ever attended four times in her life?
The sporting event is associated with royalty, and Kate Middleton has often talked about her love for it (even revealing why she was once banned). We regularly see courtside appearances from the royal family, with Prince William and Prince Charles often showing their enthusiasm for tennis.
So why doesn’t Her Majesty appear so frequently?
Apparently, the reason is simply because she isn’t a huge fan of the sport. When she has attended in the past, it has been in her role as patron. The Queen’s last trip to Wimbledon was in 2010 when she saw Andy Murray beat Jarkko Nieminen, but previous to this she hadn’t attended for 33 years.
During her visit, she met Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Caroline Wozniacki and Martina Navratilova as well as chatting to club officials and waving to the public.
The Queen’s official visits took place in July 1957, July 1977 and July 1962 but she stepped down from her role as patron and passed it on to Kate Middleton in January this year.
The news was announced by Philip Brook, chariman of The AELTC and The Championships in a statement, saying: ‘We would like to thank Her Majesty for her long and unwavering service to The Club and The Championships during her time as our patron. It was a great honour to welcome Her Majesty to Wimbledon in 2010 and we remain immensely proud of her role in the history of The Club and The Championships.
‘We would like to welcome HRH The Duchess of Cambridge, who will take up the Queen’s former duties as our patron, and also recognise with appreciation the ongoing contribution of HRH The Duke of Kent, who will continue his long-standing role as our president.’