I think that for many of us, Kate has been Queen of Wimbledon for some time. From the moment the new Duchess made her first appearance at the match as a princess, there has been speculation that someday Kate would have an official role.
Today, Roya Nikkhah broke the news in The London Times that the Queen will divest herself of some of her duties as she hits 90, including her patronage of the All England Club:
After 64 years as patron of the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, which hosts the Wimbledon championships, the Queen will this year pass the role to the Duchess, a keen tennis player and fan of the game.
Kate follows the matches with close concentration and her smiles and grimaces are always headline news after a match.
Kate has been at Wimbledon every year but 2013, when George's birth coincided too closely with the world famous Grand Slam event. As a talented and competitive player herself, Kate is the perfect choice to take on this role. William once admitted Kate's proficiency: “We are both very competitive. She beats me at tennis and skiing but I am better at the rest." Their flirtatious rivalry has been a reoccurring theme across a number of public engagements.
I have a theory about this announcement. Kate goes to Wimbledon every year, and sometimes to more than one match. It has been the cause of tension over the past few years as people complained that Kate didn't have time to "work" but that she could take time for a tennis game. This ignores the obvious fact that as the Duchess of Cambridge in the royal box, it is both work and play for Kate. As a princess of the United Kingdom, her job is to highlight Britain! Wimbledon is an international event in London and by being present Kate supports the All England Club, supports the British competitors, and draws attention to the event and the host country. She also enjoys it, but there is no law against loving your life. Regrettably, these fun appearances have become a source of scrutiny and angst. I think it is very wise for the Queen to pass on this position to Kate so that she may continue to do what she has been doing all along, but moving forward she will do it with a certain "official sanction" which should silence the critics. It's a brilliant move.
Finally, today is Carole Middleton's birthday! While she is holidaying in Mustique, it looks like William and Kate were not able to make it to the get-away. They were spotted in London on the 27th and I do not think they could have gotten to Mustique without being spotted. As you know, they have been able to sneak away to other locales at different times of the year, but given this is an annual event and there are only so many ways to get to the island, I think they'd have to be airlifted in to escape detection...and even then. :) I know someone in the comments mentioned that the Cambridges might be holding off for a winter holiday. I think George might be getting toward the age that he can begin on the little bunny slope. It will be interesting to see if they take a family ski holiday this year, as they have given it a miss these past few years!