The Duchess of Gloucester will present the Wimbledon trophies if Kate skips


People always yell at me when I fail to recognize the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, but in my defense… why would we ever need to recognize the Gloucesters on sight? I know, I should do better. But every time I see a photo of one of the Gloucesters, it’s like I’m seeing them for the first time. Anyway, the Duke of Gloucester and QEII were first cousins. The duke – aka Prince Richard – married Birgitte, a Danish commoner, in 1972. Birgitte became the Duchess of Gloucester upon her marriage. She turned 78 years old last month. The Gloucesters are still considered full-time working royals. So much so that poor Birgitte will be asked to hand out the trophies at Wimbledon if the Princess of Wales doesn’t show up for the finals. This once again feels like Wimbledon trying to smoke out their royal patron:

The Duchess of Gloucester has been earmarked as a likely candidate to present the Wimbledon trophies this weekend if the Princess of Wales is unavailable, as she continues her recovery from cancer treatment.

All England Club Chair Debbie Jevans told Telegraph Sport in the build-up to the Championships they would give the Princess “as much flexibility as possible” in determining whether she is able to fulfil her ceremonial duties as Club Patron on finals weekend, including leaving a decision until the morning of the women’s final on Saturday.

The Princess has made just one public appearance this year at Trooping the Colour following her revelation in March that she is being treated for cancer. Kensington Palace is not confirming any potential engagements for the Princess while she continues a course of preventive chemotherapy, and her attendance at Trooping the Colour on June 15 was only announced the day before.

While Jevans said a fortnight ago that she was “hopeful” the Princess would be able to attend, given the uncertainty Wimbledon have had little option but to put contingency plans in place. The All England Club has a strong relationship with the Royal family, with 10 royals having presented the trophies since Prince George (later King George V) became the club’s first president in 1907, and it is understood that during informal discussions the Duchess of Gloucester has emerged as a potential replacement.

A Wimbledon spokesperson told Telegraph Sport that a decision had yet to be made, and the presentation party would be confirmed on the morning of each final.

The Danish-born Duchess, who was Birgitte Eva van Deurs Henriksen before marrying Prince Richard, the Duke of Gloucester in 1972, is a huge tennis fan and would enable Wimbledon to maintain their royal tradition. The 78-year-old has been an Honorary President of the Lawn Tennis Association for 25 years and attended Wimbledon as a guest of the All England Club last week.

[From The Telegraph]

The Telegraph also notes that if England makes it to the EURO final, then Prince William will likely be in Berlin on Sunday, which is the same day as the Wimbledon men’s final. What’s the likelihood that England makes it to the final though? England plays The Netherlands on Wednesday and I guess they’re expecting William to travel back to Germany for that match. Which means that it’s very likely that William will entirely skip Wimbledon this year too. He usually only shows up for the men’s finals these days, but in the olden days, he would maybe turn out for the men’s semifinals.

As for the Duchess of Gloucester possibly filling in for the trophy presentation… it would be fine with me. I think the British media goes overboard when they hype Kate’s presence at Wimbledon in general, especially for the trophy presentations. She’s really secondary to the proceedings, but they try to make it sound like Wimbledon should be canceled if Kate can’t be there. I also think that the nationalities of the finalists will play a role in whether Kate comes out. My Russian octopus Daniil Medvedev is playing Jannik Sinner today in the quarterfinal! Let me dream of Meddy in the final!! LOL, his draw is terrible but whatever.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.