By their very traditional nature, the All England Lawn Tennis Club refuses to announce something unless it is 100% confirmed to happen. Consequently outgoing Wimbledon chairman Tim Phillips has formally confirmed that Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, will attend the Championships this year following a 33-year absence.
After years of speculation centring on the phrase: ‘Will she? Won’t She?’ and heightened conjecture last year that Queen Elizabeth would be present for one of Andy Murray’s matches, an official directive has arrived at SW19 from Buckingham Palace informing the All England Club that she will be in attendance at Centre Court on the first Thursday, June 24.
The last time Queen Elizabeth attended the Championships was in her Silver Jubilee Year to watch Virginia Wade become the last British singles champion in 1977. “We are delighted and honored that the Queen has indicated that she will be attending the Championships this year and we very much look forward to welcoming Her Majesty back to Wimbledon,” said Phillips.
“Wimbledon has changed considerably since the Queen's previous visit in 1977, most notably with a transformation of the infrastructure bringing new and much improved facilities, including the Centre Court roof which was unveiled last year.
Phillips, who will stand down after a decade as chairman at the end of the year to be replaced by Phil Brooke, added: “What has not changed, though, is the essential character of Wimbledon, created by the passion of players and spectators alike who want to be part of one the world's most exhilarating sporting events. It will certainly be an exciting occasion for everyone here.”
Last year the Queen sent a letter of congratulations to Murray after he became the first British born player in 71 years to win the win the traditional Wimbledon warm up grass court event at Baron’s Court’s Queen’s Club; currently called the AEGON Championships.
Henry ‘Bunny’ Austin was the last Brit to prevail at Queen’s Club back in 1938. He was a member of Britain’s last team to win the Davis Cup and a contemporary of Fred Perry who by then at turned professional.
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