Princess Kate attends her 1st Wimbledon as royal patron

Kate, 35, is royal patron of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.

ByCAROLYN DURAND
July 3, 2017, 11:08 AM

— -- Princess Kate attended Wimbledon today for the first time in her new position as royal patron of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. Kate took over the patronage from Queen Elizabeth II, 91, in December.

Kate, 35, wore a black-and-white, polka dot dress by Dolce and Gabbana and appeared to debut a new, shorter hairstyle.

The Duchess of Cambridge visited with current and former Wimbledon players, including 9-time women's champion Martina Navratilova, and met the tournament's ball girls and boys and medical staff before taking her seat in the royal box.

Kate will watch British favorite Andy Murray defend his title on the first day of play. Murray, 30, confirmed on Sunday he and his wife are expecting their second child.

Kate, who is expected to award several of the Wimbledon trophies at the end of the two-week tournament, was welcomed to the event by Sir Phillip Brook, chairman of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.

"We would like to welcome Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge, who will take up the Queen’s former duties as our patron, and also recognize with appreciation the ongoing contribution of His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent, who will continue his longstanding role as our president," Brook said.

Roger Federer, who recently attended the wedding of Kate's sister, Pippa Middleton, is the bookies' favorite at Wimbledon this year as he goes for his record eighth Wimbledon title.

Kate recently revealed in a BBC One documentary on Wimbledon that tennis was a huge part of her life growing up. She enjoys a fierce rivalry with Prince William and frequently wins.

Kate, who plays against William on a court at their country home, admitted to Novak Djokovic after watching him in the 2014 Wimbledon men's final that she and William are pretty "even." She also told the three-time Wimbledon champion she was a bit out of practice at the time since becoming a mother to Prince George, who turns 4 in July.

Kate also revealed that while pregnant with George in 2013, her doctor told her she could not attend the Wimbledon men's final. Andy Murray went on to win the tournament that year, ending Britain's 77-year drought in the men's championship.

"I was very heavily pregnant," Kate said in the documentary. "I wrote to him [Murray] afterwards saying sorry for not being there.”

Kensington Palace announced that George and his sister, Princess Charlotte, will accompany their parents on their royal tour of Germany and Poland later this month.

The tour is being called a "Brexit royal charm offensive" as the U.K. negotiates its exit from the European Union. The tour follows on the heels of William and Kate's trip to Paris earlier this year and Prince Charles's trip to Italy, Romania and the Vatican this spring.

William and Kate and their children will visit Warsaw and Gdansk in Poland, and Berlin, Heidelberg and Hamburg in Germany from July 17 to July 21, according to Kensington Palace.

"They have decided that their children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, will travel with them, and we expect the children to be seen on at least a couple of occasions over the course of the week," said a Kensington Palace spokesman.

Both George, who turns 4 this month, and Charlotte, 2, joined William and Kate last year in Canada. George also joined his parents on a royal tour of New Zealand and Australia in 2014.

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