Wimbledon Organizers Are “Hopeful” that Princess Kate Will Be In Attendance This Year, “But Her Health and Recovery Is the Priority”

The famed tennis tournament runs from July 1 to July 14 this year—so, yeah, next week (!).

Kate Middleton at Wimbledon
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Princess of Wales’ summer staples in her diary are royal events like Trooping the Colour, Order of the Garter, and Royal Ascot in June; Wimbledon in July; and a visit with the rest of the family to Balmoral, where they trek off to each August to cap off the summer together in Scotland. 

But 2024 is anything but a regular year for Kate, and so-called normalcy—whatever that is, anyway—has been blown to smithereens by her cancer diagnosis earlier this year. Though Kate did attend Trooping the Colour on June 15—the first time she’d been seen on royal duty since Christmas Day 2023—she skipped both the Order of the Garter service and Royal Ascot the next week (which she would have normally attended), as well as the Japanese state banquet earlier this week. Coming up next? Wimbledon—an event that she not only attends each year, but deeply enjoys. Will she attend the tennis tournament? Well, organizers seem hopeful. 

Kate Middleton at Wimbledon 2023

Kate is patron of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, and has been since 2016.

(Image credit: Getty)

Kate is patron of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, a patronage given to her specifically by Queen Elizabeth in 2016. (Her late Majesty held the patronage from 1952—the year she became Queen—until personally handing it over to her granddaughter-in-law 64 years later.) AELTC chair Debbie Jevans told Telegraph Sport that, amid her ongoing cancer treatment, they will give Kate “as much flexibility as possible,” with Telegraph Sport further reporting that the call on who will present trophies may not be made until the morning of the finals. (In addition to watching tennis from the Royal Box, Kate presents trophies to the tournament’s winners as part of her patronage.) 

Though Kate’s appearance at Trooping the Colour was nothing less than thrilling, palace aides emphasized that the outing “did not signal a return to public life,” People reports. “No date is set for when she will fully return to her royal work.”

That said, Wimbledon likely feels less like work and more like fun to the Princess of Wales, who is an avid tennis player herself and has attended Wimbledon almost every year since marrying Prince William (and even before they married in 2011). Kate even wanted to attend the Grand Slam competition in 2013 while “very heavily pregnant” with eldest son Prince George, “but doctors advised against it,” per People

Prince William and Kate Middleton smile at Wimbledon

That said, Kate has been attending far longer than 2016, and has attended the fabled tennis tournament since even before her marriage to William in 2011.

(Image credit: Getty)

The tournament has now become a family affair, as George attended for the first time in 2022 (and came back last year, too) and her daughter Princess Charlotte made her debut last summer. The tournament takes place this year from July 1 (so, Monday) until July 14, and Jevans said “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.” As for Kate’s attendance, “We don’t know what we don’t know,” she said.

In a vulnerable message announcing she would be attending Trooping the Colour the next day, Kate did say, for her part, that she had a “hope to join a few public engagements over the summer.” People reports that “Any outings in the coming weeks will depend on when she feels able and following medical guidance,” but royal author Katie Nicholl said that attending Wimbledon might be a mood booster for Kate.

“I wonder if we might see her at Wimbledon,” Nicholl told Entertainment Tonight. “She spoke in that very personal message about wanting to do the things that bring her joy. I think that’s being in nature, that’s being with her children, that’s taking part in everyday school life—but tennis, don’t forget, is something that the princess absolutely loves.” 

Roger Federer at Wimbledon 2023

Kate is a big fan of tennis, and took in the tournament alongside former tennis pro Roger Federer last summer.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Nicholl added of Kate that “She takes great pride in her position at the Lawn Tennis Association. Wimbledon is a firm fixture in her diary. Every year we’ve seen her attend with her family in the past. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if we see her pop up at Wimbledon, because I think that is something that will bring her joy, and a huge amount of her recovery depends on her being happy.”

Royal commentator Emily Andrews said, per The Daily Express, of Kate that “Her treatment is ongoing—and will be for the next few months—but I understand she would like to visit the Wimbledon tennis tournament, she is a patron, if she feels up to it.” 

During an appearance on the BBC documentary Sue Barker: Our Wimbledon in 2017, Kate herself said (per Hello), “I have watched Wimbledon—that was very much part of my growing up,” she said. “It’s such a quintessential part of the English summer, and I think it really inspires youngsters, myself—it inspired me when I was younger to get involved in the game. It hasn’t changed, either. I think that’s what’s so wonderful.” 

Kate Middleton and Princess Charlotte at Wimbledon

Charlotte made her Wimbledon debut in 2023; George made his the year before, so it truly is a family affair.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

In addition to Wimbledon—and, really, everything else this summer—being up in the air, OK reports that Kate is “unsure” if she will join the royal family for their annual summer break at Balmoral, either. “She has been doing what’s right for her and recovering privately at home,” a source told People. Of her diagnosis and cancer treatment, they added “She is dealing with it the best she can.”

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.