This surprising royal could step in for Princess Kate if she is unable to attend Wimbledon

We may not catch a glimpse of Kate this year

Catherine, Princess of Wales at the trophy presentations after the Gentlemen's Singles Final match on Centre Court during the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon on July 16, 2023, in London, England.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Princess Kate is as much of a fixture at Wimbledon as Novak Djokovic, but sadly this year she may not be in attendance at the tennis tournament.

As she continues her cancer treatment, it's possible the Princess of Wales will skip out on Wimbledon this year — meaning she wouldn't be able to hand out trophies to the winners in her capacity as patron of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.

Instead, the Telegraph reports that royal Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester could take Kate's place in celebrating the victors this year. Birgitte is an obvious choice as she is an Honorary President of the Lawn Tennis Association, and has been for a quarter of a century.

You'd be forgiven for not being able to place Duchess of Gloucester in the royal family tree: she was born in Denmark and is married to Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who was the late Queen Elizabeth II's cousin. Despite not being a senior royal, Birgitte is a full-time working member of the Firm.

Still, All England Club Chair Debbie Jevan previously told the Telegraph that the organisation would offer Kate "as much flexibility as possible" in terms of making a decision on whether she'll attend or not this year. They are reportedly giving her until Saturday morning to communicate her decision, which is when the women's final will take place.

As of a couple weeks ago, Debbie was "hopeful" that Kate would be able to make it, but so far there's no word from the Princess either way.

Kate has only made one public appearance since announcing her cancer diagnosis in March, at Trooping the Colour last month.

Ahead of that appearance, she explained on Instagram that she was "making good progress, but as anyone going through chemotherapy will know, there are good days and bad days."

Kate is a huge tennis fan, being a keen player herself, and has been patron of the club that hosts Wimbledon since 2016. She typically attends the tournament every single year, and last year even brought along Prince George and Princess Charlotte, both of whom also love the sport.

We certainly hope she's able to attend this year as well.

Iris Goldsztajn
Iris Goldsztajn is a celebrity and royal news writer for Marie Claire. As a London-based freelance journalist, she writes about wellness, relationships, pop culture, beauty and more for the likes of InStyle, Women's Health, Bustle, Stylist and Red. Aside from her quasi-personal investment in celebs' comings and goings, Iris is especially interested in debunking diet culture and destigmatising mental health struggles. Previously, she was the associate editor for Her Campus, where she oversaw the style and beauty news sections, as well as producing gift guides, personal essays and celebrity interviews. There, she worked remotely from Los Angeles, after returning from a three-month stint as an editorial intern for in New York. As an undergraduate at the University of California, Los Angeles, she interned at goop and C California Style and served as Her Campus' national style and LGBTQ+ editor. Iris was born and raised in France by a French father and an English mother. Her Spotify Wrapped is riddled with country music and One Direction, and she can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.