As someone who follows tennis, I was sort of surprised to see how much traction was given, within the world of tennis/Wimbledon, to the story about the Duchess of Cambridge needing to be “spared” from presenting trophies to Russian tennis players. Soon after Wimbledon banned Russian and Belarussian players from this year’s Wimbledon, a curious story appeared in the Telegraph. Sources seemingly claimed that the ban happened because Kate was so important to Wimbledon, the All-England Club would never do anything to jeopardize their relationship with Kate, and no one wanted to put Kate in the position of handing trophies to Russians because of how that would look politically.
Looking back on that story now, I think it’s pretty clear that Wimbledon banned Russian and Belarussians for many political reasons, and then Kate and Kensington Palace decided to attach themselves to the story and act like it was all being done to protect poor Kate and how important she is, symbolically, to international politics. The Telegraph piece was just high-level embiggening, basically. But what happened was that the tension was being built up over the Wimbledon fortnight, tension of “will Kate actually present the trophies or will it be too politically sensitive?!?!?” It was kind of hilarious.
Well, Kate came out for the Ladies’ Singles Final on Saturday. As you’re reading this, Kate and William are likely attending the Men’s final too. Kate went solo to the women’s final and she did, in fact, have to present the Venus Rosewater plate to a Russian. Elena Rybakina beat Ons Jabeur in the final, and Rybakina is a Russian-born Moscow-resident who plays under the Kazakhstan flag, with support from the Kazakhstan tennis federation. Kate not only presented Elena with the Venus Rosewater, Kate spoke to the Russian on the court and then again in the club, just outside the Royal Box. To her credit – and yes, we’re setting the bar this low – Kate did not seem bothered by Elena at all. Kate was perfectly fine and seemed happy and keen that Elena won.
Fashion notes: Kate repeated a bright yellow Roksanda dress for the women’s final. We last saw this dress during the Flop Tour – Kate wore this same custom dress upon the Cambridges’ arrival in Jamaica. As I said back then, I hate how good Kate looks in yellow! God, it’s really one of her best colors! She should wear yellow more often, honestly. And yes, she looks like a f–king tennis ball. Always a theme-dresser. (Also: that Wimbledon wiglet, my God.)
I also found it weird/funny that hardly anyone bows or curtsies to Kate. LOL.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.