The Duchess of Kent has denied that she is boycotting the Wimbledon tennis championships.
The Duchess used to be a regular attendee of Wimbledon where she handed out trophies. She was best known for comforting losing players.
She also helped reunite Martina Navratilova with her mother by getting her a UK visa. Her mother was unable to leave the then communist Czechoslovakia.
However, The Duchess had a row with the Wimbledon club chairman. In 1999 she wanted to take a murdered headmaster’s son to sit in the Royal Box.
The headmaster, Philip Lawrence, was stabbed to death outside the school gates after going to the aid of a pupil who was being attacked by a gang.
Despite Katharine’s love of the sport and her commitment to the championships, she received a letter from the club chairman who informed her only royal children were allowed inside the Royal Box. This meant that the 12-year-old boy would not be able to sit with the Duchess.
Katharine said she was “deeply hurt” upon receiving the “curt letter.”
Despite this, she has said she has not boycotted the championships and insists she attends the Royal Box at Wimbledon every year. She also apparently attends and sits outside the royal box in the “cheap seats”
Katharine said: “I always have a day generously given to me in the box every year and I always accept. Wimbledon is a national treasure, totally unique in the world.”
A friend of Katharine said:”The story grew legs and ran away with itself.”
They insisted Katharine never boycotted Wimbledon saying: “it’s simply not her style. She goes there every year, often sitting with friends in the cheap seats where no one notices her.”
This year she made a rare public appearance in the Royal Box where she cheered on Roger Feder on his victory in a semi-final.