Duchess of Cambridge delights tennis fans and serves up strawberries at Wimbledon

The Duchess of Cambridge delighted tennis fans during a visit to Wimbledon and served up strawberry desserts after catching a few games at the All England Club (AELTC).

Kate, who is a patron of the AELTC, arrived in SW19 on Friday dressed in a dark blue and white spotted skirt and a white top, and stopped to talk to members of the public.

She later honed her serving skills in one of the club’s kitchens as she prepped strawberry desserts alongside the AELTC’s executive chef.

As she made her way through the grounds Kate spoke to 78-year-old Jill Miles, who said it was a surprise but “wonderful” to see her.

“I was so surprised to see her as I was expecting it was going to be Jamie Murray being walked through the crowds,” said Ms Miles.

“She was just so lovely, she’s an absolute credit to the Royal Family.

“I’m still in shock – it was wonderful to meet her and it’s made my day.”

She added: “I said I wanted to blag my way onto Centre Court – I said ‘I could come with you if you’re going on’ and she said ‘I wish you could’.”

Earlier the duchess watched British doubles champion Jamie Murray and his partner Bruno Soares take on north American duo Nicholas Monroe and Vasek Pospisil on court 14 in the first round of the men’s doubles.

She was joined by Wimbledon chief executive Sally Bolton and former British tennis player Tim Henman, and was pictured laughing and smiling.

The weather on the fifth day of the championship held steady, following a damp start to the week, and the trio was able to enjoy the sunshine on court.

Kate then visited one of the kitchens inside the grounds which has been used to prepare and distribute hot meals as part of the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Wearing a brown apron and a white and blue face mask she chatted to AELTC executive chef Adam Fargin as she was shown how to hull a mound of world-famous strawberries.

Kate then put her new skills to work as she helped to prepare strawberry desserts, along with other high tea items such as egg sandwiches, which will be served in the Championships.

While using a spoon to hull the strawberries Kate said: “It’s interesting, I’ve always done this with a knife, but then you probably lose more of the strawberry.”

Afterwards Kate paid a visit to the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum where she was shown displays including a special exhibition on the Centenary of Centre Court.

While there she discussed a portrait of Andy Murray by Maggi Hambling with AELTC head of heritage Adam Chadwick, and tried her hand with other interactive displays.

Wimbledon 2021 – Day Five – The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club
Kate tried her hand at preparing some of the world famous Wimbledon strawberries during her visit to the All England Club (AELTC/PA)

Looking at the painting the duchess remarked: “I love it.

“It has a lot of movement.

“It is very pretty.

“I like the concept of taking portraits back to the cities or home towns or here, it is such a good idea.”

Spotting the interactive tennis reaction game she laughed and said: “No one told me about this.

“I should have worn my trousers.”

She scored 24 points in 30 seconds with the world record said to be 56.

Kate added: “The ones in the corners are really difficult.

“It is an amazing programme for coordination as it’s got that lateral movement.”

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The museum is a tribute to the heritage of the game and the history of The Championships and open to ticket-holders for free for the first time this year.

A tweet posted from the official Kensington Palace account said: “With the tournament having to be cancelled last year, it’s amazing to see fans and players back inside these iconic grounds.”

Kate later spoke to staff about coping through the pandemic and told them: “It is great to be back after last year obviously.

“Lovely to hear everyone is back.

“And to see the support and the spectators as well.”

British Wimbledon champion Andy Murray is due to play Denis Shapovalov on Centre Court on Friday afternoon, after 18-year-old Emma Raducanu sailed through the second round of women’s singles on Thursday.

The Duchess of Cambridge sits with Sally Bolton OBE, AELTC chief executive and Tim Henman (Neil Hall/PA)
The Duchess of Cambridge sits with Sally Bolton OBE, AELTC chief executive and Tim Henman (Neil Hall/PA)

Another tweet posted by the official Kensington Palace said: “Unbiased prediction to win it: @andy_murray and @EmmaRaducanu.”

The duchess was later pictured in the Royal Box alongside the Duke of Kent.

Other guests invited to the Royal Box on the fifth day of the tournament include pandemic fitness champions the Bodycoach Joe Wicks, Derrick Evans, aka “Mr Motivator” and “the skipping Sikh” Rajinder Singh, all of whom have been made MBE for services to health and fitness.

Kate’s visit comes after she was pictured alongside her husband the Duke of Cambridge and their son Prince George in the historic football game on Tuesday, in which England beat Germany 2-0 in the Euros.