Kate Middleton and Andy Murray team up for surprise video call to young tennis players

Sarah Young

The Duchess of Cambridge has surprised a group of primary school children with a video call to Sir Andy Murray.

Last week, Kate Middleton spoke to students from Bond Primary School in South London ahead of what would have been the final weekend of The Championships at Wimbledon.

The royal spoke to the young tennis players about the sport and quizzed them on their training as part of her role as Patron of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC).

Appearing at the end of the children’s tennis lesson, Kate asked the group about their time in lockdown and whether they have missed their friends, before announcing she had a special guest waiting to join the conversation.

“Have you all missed doing lots of physical exercise and things during lockdown?” Kate said, adding: “It’s really hard isn’t it, to keep that self-motivation going. It’s very impressive you’ve kept that training going.”

After a few minutes of conversation, the duchess revealed she had someone else waiting on the line to speak to the children and asked them to guess who it might be.

“Now, because you’re all such keen tennis fans, I’ve got a very important person here that’s going to come and join us, that would love to meet you guys and might be able to share some tennis tips as well with you,” Kate said.

“I’ll give you a few clues and see if you can guess who this special guest might be. So he ... is a he. He plays tennis for Great Britain. He’s a two-time Olympic champion. He’s a former World Number One...Can you possibly guess who this might be?”

One boy called out: “Andy Murray”, followed by a round of applause as the former Wimbledon champion appeared on the screen.

Kate went on to ask Andy some questions about his lockdown experience and whether he had kept up with training, to which he replied that he had been staying in shape by cycling.

Kate Middleton spoke with schoolchildren via video call alongside Andy Murray (Kensington Royal)

“I was going out on my road bike which was something I’ve never done before, so that’s something kind of new that I learned I enjoy during lockdown,” he said. “It’s quite important in these times to stay as active as you can because it good for the mind as well.”

The schoolchildren then had their turn to ask Andy some questions, such as why he decided to take up tennis as a career.

“It was one of the few things I was good at,” the tennis star replied. “I did it because I enjoyed it — because I had fun.” When asked by Kate if he had any tips for the children if they would like to take up tennis on a professional level, Andy said the most important thing to do is “have fun”.

“If you’re enjoying it, you get more out of your lessons and your practising. Listen to your coach, that’s very important. That’s the two most important things at your age,” he said.

“If you’re competing or playing any matches, try really hard in them, but winning and losing isn’t the most important thing. Enjoying playing a sport and being active is the most important thing.”

The duchess previously visited the school in January 2018 to see the work of the Wimbledon Junior Tennis Initiative, which is the AELTC’s community tennis programme that sees coaches deliver free tennis sessions to school children in the boroughs of Merton and Wandsworth.

This weekend would have been the date for the women’s and men’s Wimbledon finals, and Kate would have likely been at the annual sporting event to watch some of the matches alongside Prince William.

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