Duchess of Cambridge serves up classic strawberries and cream with Wimbledon cooks
The Duchess of Cambridge served alongside Wimbledon's cooks during a visit to the tennis tournament as she heard about how the club had helped the community during the coronavirus pandemic.
Kate, 39, who is patron of the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) where the annual tennis grand slam is held, arrived on Friday morning, day five of the fortnight-long competition.
She went straight to one of the outside courts, where she watched a doubles match between Briton Jamie Murray and his partner Bruno Soares who were playing north American duo Nicholas Monroe and Vasek Pospisil.
She was seated alongside former British number one Tim Henman, and the pair were seen laughing together as they watched the match.
The duchess was also joined by Wimbledon chief executive Sally Bolton.
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She wore a navy skirt with white polka dots, with a white top and navy blazer for the trip to SW19.
She was also spotted donning a floral face mask, as spectators at this year's event have to wear a mask while walking around the venue.
Wimbledon is one of the government's test events for a return to mass gatherings. Spectators don't have to wear masks once seated, and the capacity will be building gradually through the fortnight.
Those who have tickets have to present evidence of either a double coronavirus vaccination or a negative test.
She delighted fans by stopping for a brief chat as she walked through the grounds.
Jill Miles, 78, said: "I was so surprised to see her as I was expecting it was going to be Jamie Murray being walked through the crowds.
"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'."
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Kate makes a visit to Wimbledon during the fortnight most years, though she couldn't be there in 2013 when she was pregnant with her son George.
She wrote to Andy Murray, who won his first Wimbledon that year, to apologise for her absence and to congratulate him.
Murray is set to play in the third round on Friday evening, on Centre Court, but it's not known if Kate will stay to catch him in action from the royal box.
She was spotted sitting in the royal box on centre after her lunchtime engagements, next to the Duke of Kent, who is the Queen's cousin.
A tweet from the couple's account backed the Brits in action on Friday and Saturday, reading: "Unbiased prediction to win it: @andy_murray and @EmmaRaducanu."
Kate is likely to be presenting the trophy to the men's singles winner on Sunday, 11 July, a job she shares with the Duke of Kent, who is president of the AELTC.
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As she visited on Friday, 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."
After watching some of the match, Kate went to the kitchens where she met executive chef Adam Fargin, who told her about how the kitchen has been used by the AELTC over the past year to prepare and distribute 200 daily hot meals for the local community in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
She was also shown around the Wimbledon Museum, where she viewed a portrait of Murray by Maggi Hambling with AELTC head of heritage Adam Chadwick.
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."
She also tried out the interactive displays which test reactions and looked at the trophies.
Before trying out the game, which tests how quickly you can hit a light, she 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."
Kate is a keen tennis fan, and player, even reportedly installing a court at Anmer Hall in Norfolk when they moved in 10 years ago.
She is also friends with Roger Federer, eight time Wimbledon champion, and he has visited them in Norfolk, even playing a bit of tennis with Prince George.
Earlier this week Kate and her husband William took Prince George with them to Wembley where they watched the round of 16 Euros match between England and Germany.
George, seven, looked thrilled when England won 2-0, securing a spot in the quarter-finals on Saturday.
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