Wimbledon bosses 'hopeful' Princess of Wales can present trophies

The Princess of Wales watching the action from the Royal Box in July 2023
-Credit: (Image: Dave Shopland/REX/Shutterstock)

Wimbledon officials have said they are "hopeful" that Catherine, Princess of Wales, will present the winner's trophies at this year's championship. The 42-year-old royal, who has been the patron of the All England Club since 2016 and is a keen spectator at the prestigious tennis tournament, has taken a step back from the public eye this year due to health issues.

But there is optimism that she will be well enough to hand out the awards to the men's and women's singles champions in July. In March the princess said that she was in the early stages of treatment after a cancer diagnosis. In a video statement she said that it was a "huge shock" and "incredibly tough couple of months" but added that she was "well and getting stronger every day".

Debbie Jevans, chair of the All England Club, told the Daily Telegraph that they were prepared to offer Catherine "as much flexibility as possible" in light of her ongoing cancer treatment. This could mean making a last-minute decision on who will present the trophies on the day of the finals.

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Jevans said: ""We're hopeful that the Princess of Wales will be able to present the trophies as the club's patron but her health and recovery is the priority. We don't know what we don't know. All we've said is that we'll work with her and give her as much flexibility as possible. I don't know who would present the trophies as an alternative – that's something to consider nearer the time if necessary. We're staying flexible. When we hear we'll then think about what's the right thing to do."

Should Catherine be unable to fulfil the role alternatives may include another member of the Royal household or potentially Jevans herself given her position as chair of the club and her history as a former Wimbledon competitor. The All England Club has been without a president since the Duke of Kent resigned from the role three years ago.

Catherine assumed the patronage previously held by the late Queen Elizabeth who served in the position from 1952 to 2016 and had the honour of presenting the awards on multiple occasions during her tenure. Earlier this month the princess made a public appearance when she attended Trooping the Colour alongside other members of the Royal family including her husband Prince William and their children Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, nine, and six-year-old Prince Louis.