King of Wimbledon gets special welcome from Kate in the royal box

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  • July 4, 2023
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The Princess of Wales and the King of Centre Court were both given rapturous applauses as they arrived in the Royal Box on Centre Court.

Kate arrived on the morning of the tournament’s second day and smiled and greeted young children before heading to Court 18 to watch British number one Katie Boulter before the rain skippered the match.

In the afternoon, she took her seat in the Royal Box as eight-time champion Roger Federer was also welcomed to the box.

He took a seat next to the princess, who was stood clapping as the 41-year-old made his first appearance since he retired last September.

Behind them sat British-Iranian Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who was imprisoned in Iran for six years.

An all British clash will take place on the court this afternoon as Sir Andy Murray battles fellow Briton Ryan Peniston.

On Court One, Cameron Norrie will face Tomas Machac from the Czech Republic.

Wimbledon saw the highest attendance on day one of the tournament since 2015, organisers said.

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According to the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC), 42,815 people attended the championships on Monday, which means there were over 6,000 more spectators than last year when 36,603 people visited.

Michelle Dite, operations director for AELTC, told reporters that 11,500 people gained entry to the grounds via the queue on Monday.

On Tuesday morning, fans in the queue were optimistic about their chances of watching the second day of the tournament after hold-ups at security frustrated spectators on Monday.

On day one, some spectators who had visited Wimbledon in previous years said the queue was the ‘worst’ they had seen.

Organisers said extra checks – put in place over concerns about protests – were to blame for the slow queue.

A group of friends who arrived to queue for day two on Monday at 10am said the queue seemed less busy on Tuesday.

Joanne Price, 48, from Swansea, said: ‘Yesterday it was way busier than today.

‘When I got here yesterday morning it was massive.’

Thomas Hoeg-Jensen, 59, from Copenhagen, has queued for Wimbledon many times and said that there were far fewer tents pitched up on Monday night compared with previous years.

He said: ‘Other years when we showed up at the same time we got (queue number) 500 or 600. We got 70 this time.

‘Maybe because of the weather, people saw it was going to rain today.’

Nicola Yeadon, 40, from Liverpool, got to the queue just before 5am.

She said: ‘We were reading all the tweets from yesterday. We’ve done it for a few years and so far it’s the same.’

She added: ‘We’re waiting to get to the security bit.’

Ms Yeadon was queueing with her mother, Val Ormerod, 69, and sister, Clare Ormerod, 37, both also from Liverpool.

All three were braced for rain with ‘brollies and macs’ at the ready.

Karim Charania, from London, arrived to start queueing outside Wimbledon at 1am on Tuesday.

Asked how the queue has been, the 29-year-old pharmacist said: ‘Initially we were going to come at 4am or 5am but we heard that the queue was a bit crazy (yesterday) so we were like, ‘let’s go a bit earlier to make sure we get in’.’

He said he was not put off by Monday’s queue chaos, adding: ‘I guess it was the first day so you expect some teething issues.’

The club’s chief executive, Sally Bolton, told reporters on Monday that security arrangements had been boosted after climate change group Just Stop Oil (JSO) disrupted the second Ashes Test at Lord’s, the Gallagher Premiership rugby final at Twickenham and the World Snooker Championship.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman will hold talks on Wednesday with senior sporting figures and police leaders on protecting Wimbledon and other events this summer from disruptive protests.

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