Princess Charlotte and Prince George break historic Wimbledon rule as major exception made for royals

17 July 2023, 10:45

It was Princess Charlotte's first appearance at Wimbledon
It was Princess Charlotte's first appearance at Wimbledon. Picture: Getty
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Princess Charlotte broke a strict Wimbledon rule as she made her first appearance at the men's final on Sunday.

Flanked by her brother Prince George, the siblings sat in the Royal Box as they watched Carlos Alcaraz take on seven-time winner Novak Djokovic.

Children are of course allowed to attend Wimbledon, but are usually only permitted to watch from the showcourts.

They are not, however, typically allowed in the Royal Box, but an exception was made for royals Charlotte and George.

The rule is historic, dating back to the 1990s when the Duchess of Kent asked if she could bring a 12-year-old guest, who was grieving, to sit with her.

But the request was denied, with All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club chairman John Curry saying in a statement: "Because of demand for space in the royal box, we also ask that, apart from children of the royal family, children are not invited as they exclude other worthy people from attending, many of whom contribute to tennis."

Princess Charlotte in the Royal Box for the Wimbledon final
Princess Charlotte in the Royal Box for the Wimbledon final. Picture: Getty
Princess Charlotte clearly enjoying herself at Wimbledon
Princess Charlotte clearly enjoying herself at Wimbledon. Picture: Getty

While George attended the iconic tennis tournament last year, it was Charlotte's first time. Meanwhile, Prince Louis was "very upset" about not being able to attend.

Speaking to Ella Ottaway, children, young people and families coordinator at Wimbledon, Princess Kate said: “It’s Charlotte’s first time, George came last year.

"They’ve been eagerly watching. Charlotte you’ve been getting to grips with the scoring haven’t you.

"Louis was very upset he wasn’t coming today."

Princess Kate
Princess Kate. Picture: Getty

Read More: Princess Charlotte steals the show as she makes first appearance at Wimbledon for men's final

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Kate also told 16-year-old ball boy Joel that Louis has been practising being a ball boy.

After their conversation, Joel said: "He (Louis) tries to practise the standing and staying serious like us.

"He tries to practise the stands and how we stand at the back of the court and next to the players."

Princess Charlotte and Prince George
Princess Charlotte and Prince George. Picture: Getty

Meanwhile, Sunday marks Kate's third visit to Wimbledon this year, this time wearing a green dress by Roland Mouret.

The princess attended on Saturday and consoled a tearful Ons Jabeur after the Tunisian lost the ladies' singles final against Czech player Marketa Vondrousova.

She also had a rain-hit visit on the tournament's second day when she took shelter under an umbrella on Court 18 while watching British number one Katie Boulter.