The Duchess of Cambridge took part in a video call with the children, talking to them about the sport and presenting Andy Murray as the surprise guest

By Simon Perry
July 10, 2020 09:47 AM
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Kate Middleton and Andy Murray
Kensington Palace

Kate Middleton is honoring what would have been the start of the Wimbledon tournament finals with some aspiring tennis stars.

In a video call that took place last week, the Duchess of Cambridge talked to youth tennis players from the Bond Primary School in South London about her favorite sport, and playfully introduced them to a mystery guest.

“He played tennis for Great Britain, he’s two times Olympic champion, he’s the former world number one, can you possibly guess who this might be?” Kate told the group of kids before unveiling Andy Murray on video.

It wasn’t a tough guess for the tennis-loving students whose school is not far from Wimbledon, where the famous championships would have been taking place had it not been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The excited children then asked Murray some questions, such as why he decided to take up tennis as a career.

“It was one of the few things I was good at,” the tennis star said. “I did it because I enjoyed it — because I had fun.”

Kate, who is patron of the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club (AELTC), smiled as Murray told the children about his first-ever game when he was just 7 years old and “didn’t really know the rules.”

Also during the call with the Bond Primary School children, Kate and AELTC Head Coach Dan Bloxham spoke to them about their experiences in lockdown, the benefits of physical activity and their tennis progress.

As the conversation came to a close, the royal mother of three wished the children well as they come to the end of their school semester.

“Bye,” Kate, 38, said while waving. “Enjoy your holidays.”

Kate Middleton and Prince William at Wimbledon 2019
Kate Middleton and Prince William at Wimbledon 2019
Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle at Wimbledon 2019
Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle at Wimbledon 2019

The duchess had previously visited the children's school in January 2018 to see the work of the Wimbledon Junior Tennis Initiative, which is the AELTC’s community tennis program that delivers free tennis sessions to school-aged kids in the southwest London areas of Merton and Wandsworth.

The program promotes the benefits of physical activity for children and young people and gives them the chance to experience tennis. It also aids teachers with the knowledge and skills to foster exciting and productive school sports sessions — fitting in with Kate’s interest in promoting the health and mental wellbeing of young people.

This weekend would have been the date for the women’s and men’s Wimbledon finals, and Kate would have likely been at the annual sporting event to watch some of the matches. Kate and husband Prince William regularly attend matches together each year.

Kate Middleton
Press Association via AP Images

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The AELTC has donated $1.5 million from the Wimbledon Foundation to local and national charities, and has also been delivering hot meals to the local community and taking strawberries — many of which would have been sold and devoured at the championships — to local hospitals. The organization has also provided towels to the homeless through the charity Crisis, and tennis balls to clubs across the country through the Lawn Tennis Association.