Kate Middleton has accepted honorary membership of the All England Club, the Daily Mail reports. The sporty royal is now the most prominent patron of the exclusive tennis club – famous for hosting the Wimbledon Championships.
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The gilded invitation may now pave the way for the Duchess of Cambridge to succeed the Duke of Kent as President of the All England Club. The Queen's cousin is well established in the position, but when he steps down, it may well be Kate who presents trophies to tennis' finest on the hallowed lawns of centre court. Confirming the royal's new patronage, a palace spokesperson said: "The Duchess was pleased to accept the kind offer, particularly given her interest in tennis." Kate is certainly the natural choice for the role; as an ambassador of the London 2012 Olympic Games, the Duchess was a constant fixture during the stellar summer of sport. And nowhere was she more animated than when cheering on Scottish Grand Slam titan Andy Murray during his Olympic and Wimbledon campaigns.
In July, the brunette and her husband Prince William showed their support for Andy, joining in with a Mexican wave as the Scotsman took on Spain's Nicolas Almagro in the men's singles quarter finals. And the gesture worked – with Andy emerging triumphant, winning over two sets by 6-4 6-1.
A month earlier, Kate was also present in Wimbledon's royal box to support his bid to enter history as the first Briton to win the title in 74 years. On that occasion, sister Pippa Middleton accompanied Kate during his nail-biting four-set match with Roger Federer. The sporty siblings were enthralled by the action, displaying a range of emotions as Andy valiantly battled his Swiss opponent, known as the champion of champions. Sitting in the royal box, Kate was seen tensely clasping her hands and biting her lip as the match swung towards Roger.
Both sisters have long been fans of the prestigious tournament, and a polite letter Kate wrote to Wimbledon bosses after a past visit to the All England Club is proudly framed and on display there. Now that the Duchess has accepted honorary membership, fellow patrons who've read those words will doubtless have a chance to meet the author in person in the very near future.