The royal and one of tennis’ greatest playing a friendly match? What a sight for sore eyes.
Princess Kate, also known as the Princess of Wales, has long been known for her love of tennis. As a member of a family of tennis enthusiasts, she recently impressed royal watchers with her skills on the court, playing doubles alongside Swiss tennis champion Roger Federer. The delightful display was captured in a short film released over the weekend, offering a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the work of young players during the prestigious Wimbledon tournament.
Image courtesy of AELTC | Thomas Lovelock
Having been a regular attendee of Wimbledon even before her marriage to Prince William in 2011, it is believed that Kate developed a friendship with Federer at the SW19 tournament. Their connection may have been strengthened when Federer sat down for an interview in 2013 with Kate’s sister, Pippa Matthews, who was then a Contributing Editor for Vanity Fair. The tennis star and his wife, Mirka, were also among the surprise guests at Pippa’s wedding to hedge fund manager James Matthews in 2017 – so its fair to assume they have all bumped into each other in enough occasions to develop some form of interesting friendship.
But the thing is, Kate’s passion for tennis extends beyond her friendship with Federer. She has openly expressed her adoration for the sport and shared childhood memories of watching Wimbledon. In a 2017 BBC documentary called Sue Barker: Our Wimbledon, the princess described how Wimbledon was an integral part of her upbringing and how it inspired her to get involved in the game. She emphasized the timeless appeal of the event, which continues to inspire and captivate youngsters, including herself.
Adding a touch of humor, Kate revealed that her mother, Carole Middleton, harbors a little crush on Federer. With a chuckle, she confessed that her mother’s heartthrob is none other than the renowned tennis player, a fact that Federer might already be aware of.
Federer’s connection to the royal family doesn’t end there. During a visit to William and Kate’s family home, he provided a one-on-one tennis lesson to Prince George, their eldest son. Federer highlighted the importance of introducing children to tennis from a young age, drawing parallels with his own boys who have benefited from such experiences. Prince George had his inaugural Wimbledon experience last year, joining his parents in the royal box for an unforgettable match.
Unfortunately, due to the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, Kate was unable to co-host a special charity event with Federer as part of the Laver Cup 2022. This event marked Federer’s final tournament before retiring from professional tennis.
Kate’s friendship with Federer spans several years and is rooted in their shared love for tennis. Their interactions on and off the court reflect a genuine connection, with Federer becoming a significant figure in the Duchess’s tennis journey. Moreover, he has played a role in introducing the younger generation of the royal family to the sport, fostering a shared appreciation for the game.