The news comes after it was announced by Buckingham Palace that The Queen would be giving up patronage of 25 organisations, including Wimbledon.
It is no surprise that Wimbledon is one of the organisations Her Majesty has stepped down from. Although she had served as patron for 64 years, she has never had a keen passion for tennis and so has visited the Wimbledon tournament just twice in the past 35 years.
Philip Brook, Chairman of The AELTC and The Championships, said: “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.”
In addition to her role as patron, Kate will be taking over the responsibility for presenting awards to Wimbledon champions from the Duke of Kent—a role he has held for the past 40 years. A spokesperson for the club was quoted, saying ‘They will let us know when the change happens. We will just be told. Until we hear otherwise I can only assume the Duke will hand out prizes as usual’ suggesting that this is all the information the Club has been given about the change at this time.
A keen tennis player, Kate regularly attends the Wimbledon Championships and was presented with an honorary membership to the All England Tennis Club in January 2013. And a statement issued at the time on her behalf said ‘The Duchess was pleased to accept the kind offer, particularly given her interest in tennis’.
Kate plays regularly and has been quoted as saying it’s one of only two sports she can beat Prince William at. She has also taken an interest in sharing the sport with the next generation and showed off her skills with a racket when she participated in a ‘Tennis on the Road’ workshop hosted by Judy Murray—mother of tennis star players Andy and Jamie Murray—at Craigmount High School in Edinburgh during a day of engagements in February 2016.
Founded on 23 July 1868 The Club went through several changes and names before becoming The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in 1899. The Championships at Wimbledon—commonly referred to simply as ‘Wimbledon’—is the oldest tennis tournament in the world and was first held in 1877. Taking place every year in a two-week period at the end of June and beginning of July the tournament is the only major still played on grass and considered the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world.