Kate Middleton’s Wimbledon appearance in 2017 will come with a new title for her and amidst a flurry of other athletic activities.
The on-the-go Duchess of Cambridge was recently named Patron of Wimbledon by Queen Elizabeth, as previously reported by the Inquisitr. According to New York Magazine, the Duchess’ chief duty as patron of Wimbledon will be handing out trophies to the winners. She won’t take the role over formally for another year, though. The Queen’s cousin, the 80-year-old Duke of Kent, has been doing the job for 40 years now. The Queen is likely giving him one more year as consolation for being replaced with much newer blood.
Many Brits might see Kate Middleton’s Wimbledon patronage honor as a natural step. The British monarchy has been undergoing an image transformation for several years, appealing to a more youthful and vital cultural base. The Duchess defines that new image.
A look through yearbook pictures of her at St. Andrews School in 1995, reports the Daily Mail, will show Kate excelling at many sports. She swam, played cricket and hockey — and, yes, played tennis, too. When she wasn’t competing on a field or court, Kate sang, played the flute, and danced ballet and tap.
Kate Middleton’s new Wimbledon duties were announced before her involvement in another pet sporting project. England wants to bring the prestigious America’s Cup sailing title back to the UK, and the Duchess is doing her bit.
The America’s Cup began in 1851 in England when Britannia still ruled the waves. Then-Queen Victoria watched as the New York Yacht Club’s schooner America beat the powerhouse host nation’s best. The owners of the America then donated the cup to the New York Yacht Club. They stipulated that the cup would be “a perpetual challenge cup for friendly competition between nations.”
And now Kate Middleton, Wimbledon patron-to-be, and the rest of England, want it back.
According to Hello Magazine, the Duchess of Cambridge is no stranger to the water. She once crewed a yacht on a round-the-world voyage. Kate is also Royal Patron of the 1851 Trust. The sailing team Ben Ainslie Racing supports the 1851 Trust. Together, they focus on winning the America’s Cup, scheduled for 2017 in Bermuda. The 1851 Trust currently has two sailing projects, which Kate will launch on a visit to Portsmouth on May 20.
But the America’s Cup drive goes much deeper into the culture than Kate Middleton’s Wimbledon trophy hand-off might.
Duchess Kate will open the Tech Deck Education Centre on her Portsmouth trip. Visitors to the center will be able to learn more about new technologies in racing yachts while watching the America’s Cup boats being built.
In keeping with the current youth movement, Kate is reaching out to kids. #STEMCREW is a digital workshop for schoolchildren. They learn the science and engineering behind the America’s Cup in the workshop. Kate plans to meet with some of these students. Her goal is to inspire youngsters to continue pursuing innovations in science and sailing.
June 2017 will be a busy one for the Windsors. The highlight of the Kate Middleton Wimbledon patronage, if it begins next year, would be the awarding of the trophies. The tournament runs from June 26 through July 9. The America’s Cup is also in June. But the energetic, focused, and committed Duchess of Cambridge has proven she’s up for the challenge. Her involvement in so many areas reinvigorates the House of Windsor and changes the British public’s view of the royal family.
“It’s still hard to imagine her becoming queen one day,” said one of Kate’s former classmates, “but I can tell you one thing – if she does, the royals will be lucky to have her.”
Which do you think is more cool, Kate Middleton’s Wimbledon patron honor, or her work on the America’s Cup?
[Photo by Star Max 2/AP Images]