Our last post featured many Royal Wimbledon fans such as Princess Grace, Princess Diana, and two Duchesses of Kent. Let’s dive in today with some truly vintage Wimbledon pictures.
King George V and Queen Mary
Behold the King and Queen in 1926, presenting a cup to the winner. That’s quite a curtsey!
The Duke of York, later King George:
1926 was quite a banner year for royals at Wimbledon According to History.com, the Duke of York was a bona fide Wimbledon tennis player that year. Seriously! There he is in his tennis whites:
Here’s how it all went down, according to the website:
While most British rulers catch the action from the comfort of Centre Court’s royal box, the Duke of York, the future King George VI, took to Wimbledon’s lawns as a competitor in the 1926 men’s doubles tournament. After capturing the Royal Air Force’s tennis championship, Sir Louis Greig, the duke’s mentor and advisor, garnered an automatic berth in Wimbledon and selected the future monarch to be his doubles partner. Their first-round opponents, Britons Arthur Gore and Herbert Roper Barrett, displayed little royal deference in smashing Greig and the duke in three easy sets, 6-1, 6-3, 6-2. No doubt King Henry VIII and some other royals would have locked Gore and Barrett up in the Tower of London for such insolence, but King George VI, who remains the only royal to ever compete at Wimbledon, was gracious in defeat.
The Queen Mum
Moving along, how great is this photograph of the then Queen Elizabeth, parasol in hand, with American Wimbledon champ Helen Woods Moody? This was taken at Wimbledon in 1938:
Her Majesty the Queen
So King George didn’t pass on a love of tennis to the current Queen. It’s no secret that she prefers horses over tennis, and her infrequent visits to Wimbledon highlight that.
Here she is on June 24, 2010, which was her first visit since 1977. That’s a gap of 33 years, kids.
She wore a hat in the Royal Box, which is a no-no for spectators so that other’s views aren’t obstructed. But she’s the Queen; she can do as she likes.
Here she is in 1977, which the Queen attended to mark the 100th year since the founding of the Wimbledon Championships.
The Duchess of Kent had a break from presenting the trophy that year and British player Virginia Wade won the Ladies Singles Final:
This is Princess Margaret watching the Men’s final in 1968. Make of this what you will:
Princess Anne was there the following year in 1969, and presented the winner’s trophy to Billie Jean King. She didn’t pay much attention to the no hat rule, either:
Prince Charles is also not a frequent visitor to Wimbledon. He attended on Wednesday, June 27th, 2012 for the first time since 1970, so his gap is even longer than the Queen’s. He attended with the Duchess of Cornwall and apparently had a jolly good time:
According to The Star, Roger Fededer spoke about the Royal visitors. He said,
“They do brief you beforehand,” Federer said. “I guess you don’t do anything stupid. You behave. Obviously we were asked to bow, which is obviously no problem to do. We’re thrilled for the tennis family that they came to watch Wimbledon today.”
Duchess of Cornwall
The Duchess of Cornwall seems to be more of a tennis fan. She was there in 2011, and met with the ball boys and gals:
She also signed her name in the guest book, which gives us another prime example of a royal signature:
The Yorks show up now and again. Here’s Sarah right into things in 1988:
And on another day of the tournament in 1988, she was one seat away from the Princess of Wales:
She was also there in 1990:
Prince Andrew doesn’t seem to be a frequent visitor. Here he is in 2010:
He’s a bit of a snooze fest. Let’s move on to Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.
Here are the three York Ladies attending the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Pre-Wimbledon Party in 2009:
Skipping along, here’s Princess Beatrice chatting with the Duke of Kent (who is the President of the All England Club) in 2011:
Beatrice’s boyfriend Dave Clarke was there, too. That’s him on the left in the front row of the Royal Enclosure. Not too shabby, Dave!! Not too shabby at all. Kate and William didn’t make an appearance in the royal box until after their wedding. That might just be circumstantial, but still…
Yes, toss that hair, Bea.
Rounding out the family, Princess Eugenie arrived for Day One of Wimbledon this year:
Wish we could now launch into Edward and Sophie at Wimbledon over the years, but alas they don’t seem to make time for it in their calendars. What’s the deal with that? We know that Prince Edward is a big fan of real tennis, and that’s actually how Sophie and Edward met. Click here for our post on that Chance Royal Meeting. I guess regular tennis just isn’t their thing.
More Wimbledon fun in our next post. See you then!