Princess Kate Would “Dearly Love” to Present the Trophies at Wimbledon This Weekend—But There’s a Contingency Plan Taking Shape If She’s Unable to Make It

It will all depend on how Kate is feeling on Saturday and Sunday, but tournament officials are hopeful.

Kate Middleton at Wimbledon in a green dress
(Image credit: Getty)

The Princess of Wales would “dearly love” to be at Wimbledon this week, a friend of hers speaking to The Daily Beast said—but, as anyone who has experienced it firsthand knows, cancer sometimes has other plans. As she continues to receive treatment for cancer, Wimbledon officials are reportedly putting contingency plans in place if Kate is unable to join them—but more on that in a moment.

Kate has been patron of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club since 2016, when Queen Elizabeth personally presented Kate—a longtime athlete and lover of tennis—with the patronage. “Nobody has been more important in transforming Wimbledon’s image from slightly fusty sporting ritual to chic, aspirational, and socially fabulous event than its current patron, Catherine, the Princess of Wales,” The Daily Beast writes.  

Kate Middleton at Wimbledon women's final 2023 in a green Self Portrait dress

Kate, seen here at the women's final last year, looks forward to Wimbledon every year.

(Image credit: Getty)

A friend of hers told the outlet “It is no secret that she would dearly love to be there, but when you are having chemo, as she herself said, there are good days and bad days,” they said. “A lot depends on the timing of the treatments. She made it to Trooping the Colour, so if she can make Wimbledon, she will.”

Kate is expected to present the winning trophy to the winner of the women's final on Saturday and the men’s final on Sunday, if she is well enough to do so. But, if that’s not possible, officials have a contingency plan, Tatler reports—if Kate can't be there, “bosses have earmarked the Duchess of Gloucester as a likely candidate to present the Wimbledon trophies if the Princess is unavailable,” the outlet writes. “As discussions continue amidst Kate’s absence, it is understood that informal discussions with the Duchess of Gloucester as a potential replacement have begun.” 

Princess Kate Sends Surprise Message to Tennis Legend Andy Murray

Though Kate wants to attend the tournament this year, cancer treatments might prevent her from doing so.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A Wimbledon spokesperson told Telegraph Sport that a “decision had yet to be made,” and that the presentation party would only “be confirmed on the morning of each final.” Days ago, Debbie Jevans—chairman of the All England Club—said that Wimbledon is happy to give Kate “as much flexibility as possible” in the leadup to the final, “including a willingness to delay finding a replacement for the ceremony as Kate continues to work on an adjusted calendar,” Tatler writes. 

“We’re hopeful that the Princess of Wales will be able to present the trophies as the Club’s patron, but her health and recovery is the priority,” Jevans told Telegraph Sport. “We don’t know what we don’t know. All we’ve said is that we’ll work with her and give her as much flexibility as possible.” Jevans went on to say in that interview that the Club hadn’t considered yet who might replace Kate at the ceremony, though that seems to have been thought through more since. 

Duchess of Gloucester

Birgitte, the Duchess of Gloucester, at Royal Ascot this year.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Birgitte, the Duchess of Gloucester, is married to Queen Elizabeth’s first cousin Prince Richard, the Duke of Gloucester. “Like Kate, Birgitte is an avid tennis fan with a related patronage,” People reports. “The Duchess of Gloucester has been an Honorary President of the Lawn Tennis Association for 25 years, supporting the governing body for tennis in Great Britain. This year, the Duchess of Gloucester has attended the tennis tournament twice since the competition began on July 1.”

Duchess of Gloucester

Like Kate, Birgitte is an avid tennis fan.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Duchess of Gloucester is a full-time working member of the royal family and recently made royal history with her investiture as a Royal Lady of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, “becoming the first non-blood royal who is not married to the monarch or the heir to the throne to be appointed to the position,” People writes.

According to The Daily Express, a final decision isn’t expected to be made until the morning of the women’s final, which is set for this Saturday, July 13. 

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.