As the Queen continues to reduce her workload ahead of her 90th birthday, she has reportedly served the Duchess of Cambridge with the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club patronage, says the Sunday Times. The prestigious venue is best known for the Wimbledon tournement.
The duchess's new role is expected to be officially announced during the tennis tournament this summer, after Her Majesty steps down following 64 years as patron.
It is an honour likely to leave Kate thrilled; as a tennis fan, she is a regular fixture in the royal box during Wimbledon. The duchess is also a keen tennis player and has been granted planning permission to build a tennis court in the grounds of Anmer Hall, the home she shares with Prince William and their children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
It is the second patronage Kate has received in recent months. The duchess was recently given Prince Philip's patronage of the RAF Air Cadets, and is now Honorary Air Commandment of the Air Cadet Organization, a group of 42,000 air cadets and 15,000 adult volunteers at more than 1,200 units across the U.K. and abroad.
It has also been suggested that Prince Harry will soon take over as patron of the Rugby Football Union (RFU), which governs English rugby, a role the Queen has held for 65 years. The 31-year-old prince is suited to the position, having recently served as the honorary president of England Rugby 2015.
"The Queen is mindful that she does not want organizations with which she is associated to think that when she turns 90, that's it – it's goodbye, " a source told the Sunday Times. "That will not be the case at all."