The Duchess of Cambridge has added a very exciting engagement to her schedule next week. Kensington Palace has announced that Kate, a lifelong tennis fan, will attend the first day of the Wimbledon Championships on July 3. This will mark the Duchess' first visit to Wimbledon as patron of the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club – a patronage she took over from the Queen last year.
Prior to the start of play, Kate will meet some of Wimbledon's ball boys and ball girls, and hear more about their experiences of the tournament. The Duchess will then meet a number of staff who play a pivotal role each year in the delivery of the championships, including the tournament's stewards and its medical and safety teams.
As an avid tennis fan and keen player herself, Kate is a regular fixture in the royal box throughout Wimbledon. The Duchess, 36, usually attends at least one day of the summer tournament, and she and Prince William are often guests of honour at the men's singles final match. Last year they watched Andy Murray secure his second Wimbledon championship title.
At the ladies' semi-final day of Wimbledon, Kate also opened up about her son Prince George's love of tennis. "She talked about George, her little boy, playing tennis," former British number one Greg Rusedski said. "He's got a racket and he enjoys playing tennis, and obviously she plays with William, so they obviously enjoy the sport very much." Kate is such a fan of the game that she requested planning permission to build a tennis court in the grounds of her and Prince William's country home, Anmer Hall, two years ago.
The Duchess' younger sister Pippa Middleton, who recently married husband James Matthews in May, also makes regular appearances at Wimbledon, as do Kate's parents Michael and Carole Middleton, and Kate's younger brother James.