Kate, who is patron of the All England Lawn Tennis Club, has attended Wimbledon for the past eight years

By Phil Boucher
April 01, 2020 03:03 PM
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Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
Credit: Press Association via AP Images

Kate Middleton just saw one of her patronages hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

The All England Lawn Tennis Club — organizers of the Wimbledon tennis championships — announced Wednesday that this summer’s tournament will be canceled “due to public health concerns linked to the coronavirus epidemic.”

The 134th Wimbledon Championships will instead be staged in Summer 2021.

“The Championships has only been interrupted previously by World Wars, but following thorough and extensive consideration of all scenarios, we believe that it is a measure of this global crisis that it is ultimately the right decision,” added All England Club chairman Ian Hewitt in a statement. “Our thoughts are with all those who have been and continue to be affected by these unprecedented times.”

Kate has been the royal patron of the All England Club since Queen Elizabeth stepped down from her 64-year association with the tournament in December 2016.

An avid tennis fan (her country home in Norfolk, Anmer Hall has a court!), she has been a regular visitor to the Royal Box during the summer tournaments, visiting no less than three times during the 2019 Championships — including a daytime date with husband Prince William to watch the Men’s Singles Final between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.

Kate Middleton Wimbledon
Kate Middleton at Wimbledon 2019

The previous day Kate and sister Pippa Middleton, also hit the center court with Meghan Markle to see the Women’s Singles Final featuring Meghan’s close friend Serena Williams and Romania’s Simona Halep. The occasion marked the one-year anniversary of the royal sisters-in-law’s first outing without their husbands by their sides at the very same event.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 13: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Pippa Middleton in the Royal Box on Centre Court during day twelve of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 13, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and Pippa Middleton at Wimbledon 2019
| Credit: Karwai Tang/Getty

Following the match, Halep shared that seeing Kate and Meghan in the royal box gave her the “extra boost” she needed to win.

In 2018, Center Court was also the location of Kate’s first solo outing with Meghan, where they headed to the royal box to once again watch Williams in the final — this time against Angelique Kerber.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
Kate Middleton
| Credit: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

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Wimbledon Tennis Championships, Day 12, The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, UK - 14 Jul 2018
Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle at Wimbledon 2018
| Credit: Shutterstock

In a rare display of solidarity, the royal sisters-in-law even coordinated their outfits for the event, with the Duchess of Sussex — who officially stepped down from front line royal duties with husband Prince Harry on Tuesday — wearing a summery blue-and-white striped shirt from Ralph Lauren with wide-leg cream pants. Princess Kate, meanwhile, opted for a white-patterned dress.