There’s a buzz around the famous All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club, as the legendary venue gears up for this year’s Wimbledon Championship. With the qualifiers already underway, the main tournament is due take place from July 1st to 14th, attracting the cream of the world’s tennis players.
This year is the 142nd event. It is set to be the most prestigious fixture on the international tennis circuit, as always. The familiar spectacle of players dressed all in white on the lush grass courts, with spectators basking in the sunshine enjoying strawberries and cream, is a familiar sight every July.
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In fact, the public consume a staggering 166,000 bowls of strawberries with 10,000 litres of dairy cream every year! They also enjoy a tipple, as 320,000 glasses of Pimm’s and 29,000 bottles of champagne are sipped while the crowd enjoys the action on the courts.
A Wimbledon pastime almost as popular as eating strawberries and cream is celebrity-spotting, as the annual tournament lures its fair share of A-listers, not to mention royals.
While the dress code for players is strictly all-white, spectators can wear what they please, so the arrival of a celeb is eagerly anticipated, not least to see what they’re wearing!
Over the years, the royals have made a big impact on Wimbledon. Famous for her smart tailored blazers and designer suits, the late Princess Diana was a regular visitor.
The Duchess of Cambridge is also an avid tennis fan and has scored many an ace in the style stakes. She often wears shift dresses in bold prints, including polka dots and bright colours. Her sister, Pippa Middleton, is a regular visitor to Wimbledon too.
Queen Elizabeth II and her sister, Princess Margaret, could often be seen in the royal box in the 1950s and 1960s. Both of them have presented winners’ trophies in the past. Prince Charles has been spotted at Wimbledon, as has Prince Albert of Monaco, Prince William, the Duke and Duchess of Kent, the Duchess of Cornwall and Princess Eugenie.
The Duchess of Sussex was pictured at Wimbledon watching the ladies’ singles final with her sister-in-law the Duchess of Cambridge in 2018. She created a fashion statement in her bold striped top and white trousers.
Many famous celebrities from the entertainment world love attending Wimbledon. Bradley Cooper and Jude Law are regular visitors, always serving up a smartly-tailored summer suit.
The editor of US Vogue, Anna Wintour, is a regular Wimbledon-goer and always wears a stylish ensemble. In recent years, she has gone for floral numbers and a heritage-inspired tweed dress. One year, she even managed to match her outfit to the colour of the chairs!
Other famous women who have wowed the Wimbledon crowds with their fashion sense in recent years have included Sienna Miller, Heidi Klum, Keira Knightley, Anne Hathaway, Beyonce and Victoria Beckham.
Who’ll be there this year?
There’s always speculation about who will be attending Wimbledon and which celeb will steal the show with their outfit, but a more pressing topic this year is whether rumours of a rift between the Duchess of Sussex and the Duchess of Cambridge will be disproved at Wimbledon.
The press has been full of talk that the two royal wives don’t get on since Meghan’s marriage to Prince Harry. Kate, the tournament’s president, will definitely be there. Now, there’s plenty of media chat about whether the two duchesses will arrive together and put on a united public front, putting to bed the rumours of a feud.
Speculation has already begun about who will attend from the entertainment world this year. This is based on who attended last year – such as A-list actors Eddie Redmayne, Benedict Cumberbatch and Damian Lewis, the star of Band of Brothers.
Hollywood actress Kate Winslet is another Wimbledon regular, as is veteran English actress Dame Maggie Smith, recently seen in the period drama Downton Abbey. Fellow thespians Emma Watson and Hugh Grant have also put in an appearance to watch the tennis in recent years.
It’s always thrilling for the spectators when they spot true Hollywood legends in their midst. These have included Woody Harelson, Dustin Hoffman and Ben Stiller.
From the music world, Sir Cliff Richard and Dame Shirley Bassey are among the biggest stars who have attended Wimbledon. Modern icons Kylie Minogue, Justin Timberlake, rapper Drake, Ellie Goulding and Stormzy are also fans of the world’s most popular tournament.
The star-spotters will be out in force on Monday, not only to grab the players’ autographs, but also to see which icons of the stage and screen will be sitting watching the action.
So, who would you like to sit next to while you enjoy your strawberries and cream?
If you’re someone who enjoys Wimbledon for the spectacle and occasion as much as the tennis, Monday is going to be a fabulous day, whatever the weather!
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Enjoy the tournament!