The Duchess of Gloucester will present the Wimbledon trophies if Kate skips

People always yell at me when I fail to recognize the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, but in my defense… why would we ever need to recognize the Gloucesters on sight? I know, I should do better. But every time I see a photo of one of the Gloucesters, it’s like I’m seeing them for the first time. Anyway, the Duke of Gloucester and QEII were first cousins. The duke – aka Prince Richard – married Birgitte, a Danish commoner, in 1972. Birgitte became the Duchess of Gloucester upon her marriage. She turned 78 years old last month. The Gloucesters are still considered full-time working royals. So much so that poor Birgitte will be asked to hand out the trophies at Wimbledon if the Princess of Wales doesn’t show up for the finals. This once again feels like Wimbledon trying to smoke out their royal patron:

The Duchess of Gloucester has been earmarked as a likely candidate to present the Wimbledon trophies this weekend if the Princess of Wales is unavailable, as she continues her recovery from cancer treatment.

All England Club Chair Debbie Jevans told Telegraph Sport in the build-up to the Championships they would give the Princess “as much flexibility as possible” in determining whether she is able to fulfil her ceremonial duties as Club Patron on finals weekend, including leaving a decision until the morning of the women’s final on Saturday.

The Princess has made just one public appearance this year at Trooping the Colour following her revelation in March that she is being treated for cancer. Kensington Palace is not confirming any potential engagements for the Princess while she continues a course of preventive chemotherapy, and her attendance at Trooping the Colour on June 15 was only announced the day before.

While Jevans said a fortnight ago that she was “hopeful” the Princess would be able to attend, given the uncertainty Wimbledon have had little option but to put contingency plans in place. The All England Club has a strong relationship with the Royal family, with 10 royals having presented the trophies since Prince George (later King George V) became the club’s first president in 1907, and it is understood that during informal discussions the Duchess of Gloucester has emerged as a potential replacement.

A Wimbledon spokesperson told Telegraph Sport that a decision had yet to be made, and the presentation party would be confirmed on the morning of each final.

The Danish-born Duchess, who was Birgitte Eva van Deurs Henriksen before marrying Prince Richard, the Duke of Gloucester in 1972, is a huge tennis fan and would enable Wimbledon to maintain their royal tradition. The 78-year-old has been an Honorary President of the Lawn Tennis Association for 25 years and attended Wimbledon as a guest of the All England Club last week.

[From The Telegraph]

The Telegraph also notes that if England makes it to the EURO final, then Prince William will likely be in Berlin on Sunday, which is the same day as the Wimbledon men’s final. What’s the likelihood that England makes it to the final though? England plays The Netherlands on Wednesday and I guess they’re expecting William to travel back to Germany for that match. Which means that it’s very likely that William will entirely skip Wimbledon this year too. He usually only shows up for the men’s finals these days, but in the olden days, he would maybe turn out for the men’s semifinals.

As for the Duchess of Gloucester possibly filling in for the trophy presentation… it would be fine with me. I think the British media goes overboard when they hype Kate’s presence at Wimbledon in general, especially for the trophy presentations. She’s really secondary to the proceedings, but they try to make it sound like Wimbledon should be canceled if Kate can’t be there. I also think that the nationalities of the finalists will play a role in whether Kate comes out. My Russian octopus Daniil Medvedev is playing Jannik Sinner today in the quarterfinal! Let me dream of Meddy in the final!! LOL, his draw is terrible but whatever.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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50 Responses to “The Duchess of Gloucester will present the Wimbledon trophies if Kate skips”

  1. Tessa says:

    Kate should have had to wait some years before getting to present trophies.

  2. Flower says:

    The UK really has become an irrelevant place that fell from Grace.

    The fact the could not find a more senior/ recognisable BRF member for international audiences speaks VOLUMES.

    I suspect by giving it to the Duchess of Gloucester, Kate also guards her place.

    • Eurydice says:

      Does the international audience care who presents the trophy? Last year, the US open trophies were handed out by the USTA president, a pleasant-looking, white-haired doctor with not a glamorous bone in his body. The audience didn’t seem to care -they came to see the tennis stars.

      • Brassy Rebel says:

        Yeah, only at Wimbledon do they make a thing out of the presenter of the trophy. It literally could be one of the ball boys.

        I’m genuinely surprised Kate has yet to make an appearance. She may be trying to build suspense for the 🏆 presentation. We know she can do it if she wants to.

      • Nic919 says:

        It was the Duchess of Kent for the women and the Duke of Kent for the men for decades until Kate decided she wanted Wimbledon. No one cared who presented the trophy but who won it.

      • Tessa says:

        The Kent family was so much better at it. Marina was a much beloved figure and she was succeeded by her daughter in law and her son.

      • BeanieBean says:

        I would love it if it were one of those ball kids! What a thrill for them!

    • Megan says:

      Brexit made the UK irrelevant.

    • Call_Me_AL says:

      Can they give Wimbledon back to the Kents (whom Kate took it from)? I don’t even know if they are still alive.

    • Agreatreckoning says:

      I’m laughing at myself for wondering, “When did Tina Brown become the Duchess of Gloucester?”. That’s who I thought the inset pic was.smh Oh well.

      You have to wonder why they’re not asking Bea, Zara or Gabriella to step in? Just in case.

      No issues with the Duchess of Gloucester, if they want to modernize the monarchy, then, someone younger would make sense.imo

  3. Yup, Me says:

    Well, they can rest assured that all their po faced left behinds are proper enough to suit them now. 🤷🏽‍♀️

    Play the FAFO theme song, maestro!

  4. Lady Digby says:

    We are currently a Summer Covid wave and yours truly came down with it after attending my son’s university play last month. I felt like i’d been trampled on and had low energy for 2 weeks afterwards and that was only MILD covid. So I would say , anyone going through chemo with a compromised imune system, should NOT be seated for hours in the packed royal box on either Saturday or Sunday because they are putting themselves at risk.

    • UnstrungPearl says:

      Very good point, she really shouldn’t be in crowds. Wonder why they haven’t used this excuse yet…?

      • sunnyside up says:

        She wants to go. She probably knows whether she will be OK on this date, Knows how long it takes to recover from each bout of therapy, but loves the will she, won’t she attention.

    • sevenblue says:

      You are definitely right. It is also weird her children and husband are attending concerts, football games. She can easily catch something from her family.

    • Becks1 says:

      Ugh, I hope you’re feeling better!!

      I’ve said that before about Kate and crowds – same with Charles, but it makes me think he’s undergoing something more targeted that is less damaging to his immune system. But if Kate is undergoing chemotherapy, avoiding crowds makes perfect sense and I am not sure why KP doesn’t just come out and say that. It also goes against the whole “chocolate shopping” stories and stories about her being at school events etc, so again it seems like there are two different sides here.

      • Lady Digby says:

        @Becks 1 Thanks I am back to normal for me but I was careful to remain in quarantine so neither hubbie or sons caught it from me. I also followed the advice to avoid anyone with compromised immunity for 10 days afterwards.
        Agreed if Kate is still undergoing chemo and immune compromised she should avoid wimbledon and all afmous anti vaxxer tennis players to be on the safe side!

    • Agreatreckoning says:

      Thank you @Lady Digby. What you said and someone going through chemo isn’t recommended to be sitting out in the sun-if the day is sunny. Willy’s been looking a bit tanned. Which is okay? if he and the kids are looking tan. If Kate is looking tan..well, questions galore.

  5. seaflower says:

    Suggesting the Duchess of Gloucester hand out trophies won’t lure Kkkae out. It needs to be a young attractive royal female like Gabriella or Roger F being in the royal box.

  6. UnstrungPearl says:

    DoG sounds like a good replacement, wonder how she feels about being kept in the dark until the last minute?

    I actually get the thinking in a way – they don’t want to confirm Kate in advance if she drops out last minute. That would lead to increased speculation on her health.

    However I agree don’t think its really a big deal if she’s there or not. People watch Wimbledon for the tennis!! No one gives two hoots who’s holding the trophy for 10 seconds before passing to the winner!

    Let the anonymous DoG do it and we can all move on.

    • Eurydice says:

      Was she kept in the dark until the last minute? I’m sure the issue of trophy presentation has been under discussion for months and if the Duchess has been honorary president for 25 years, she must have had a clue, if not actually been part of the discussion.

      • Becks1 says:

        They said they would make a decision on Saturday morning before the women’s finals. So it sounds like she is planning to be in attendance but won’t know if she’s handing out the trophies until that morning.

      • Eurydice says:

        @Becks1 – Lol, thanks. I must need another cup of coffee because I read it as the Duchess was in the dark all along. I would think that, despite the court calendar, everyone’s pretty used to waiting for the RF. And with the 6-month “will she, won’t she,” everyone’s prepared for “she did, she didn’t.”

    • sunnyside up says:

      Yes, we turn it off after we know who won.

    • Nic919 says:

      The duchess has been attending the matches in the first week so I assume she likes tennis. Kate never showed up in the early part of the tournament especially once she was made patron.

  7. Mads says:

    I’d be very shocked if Kate doesn’t attend at least one of the finals, especially after her showing up for Trooping.

    • Amy Bee says:

      I was saying this too but I can’t imagine her now as a cancer patient wanting to sit in the sun for hours just to present a trophy. If she does go I don’t think she will be watch the matches she will just come out to present the trophies.

      • Jais says:

        Hmm. That would be interesting. If she just presented the award but didn’t sit for the whole match. But at that point, what’s the point? To be seen? To give the rota some pictures?

  8. Hypocrisy says:

    This is such a non story, it’s even boring to read these articles. No one cares who hands out the trophies except the BRF and their propaganda team.

    • Roo says:

      And that should scare the BRF, but they’re not clever enough to get that, are they?

      Honestly, I think they should announce that Harry and Meghan might present the trophies. You’d see Kate leave burned rubber tracks getting to Wimbledon. 😂

  9. Jais says:

    Go meddy 🐙! Wimbledon will go on with or without Kate. The only ones who care are the rota.

  10. Becks1 says:

    I dont know about England making it into the finals. They didn’t look amazing in the quarters and had close calls against both Switzerland and Slovakia, but they’ve managed to pull it off both times. But the Netherlands looked good against Turkey once they found their footing. But I think William will be there for the semis – I wonder if he’ll bring George.

    I feel like Spain would wallop them in the finals though (I’m assuming Spain beats France, which isn’t guaranteed.)

    • ML says:

      We have annoying neighbors…The Dutch team hasn’t played evenly either. My husband wants them to win and the kids want them to lose.

  11. Amy Bee says:

    I don’t get why Wimbledon is insisting that a royal present the trophies. Why can’t former champions do it.

  12. Digital Unicorn says:

    The Duchess of Gloucester will likely hand out the women’s finals trophy on Sat – I guarantee Keen will rock up on Sunday for the men’s final.

  13. ABritGuest says:

    Kate will be at Wimbledon final. Probably just the men’s. I think they trying to build up hype for her public appearances but Kate lives for the big glamour events so will be there especially in same week as Harry’s big night.

  14. Proud Mary says:

    The who of what? Who whoulda thought the British monarchy would be so funny in it’s waning days.

  15. Pamela says:

    Birgitte didn’t become Duchess of Gloucester when she married Prince Richard – he was a younger son, and a working architect. No one thought he would inherit, but then his brother died suddenly a couple of years after they were married.

    • Jen says:

      His brother died less than 2 months after Birgitte and Richard married, and then it as another 2 years before his father died.

  16. Lau says:

    Honestly I always forget that George VI had other siblings and not just Edward VIII the nazi sympathiser.

  17. Murphy says:

    She didn’t become Duchess until her father in law died in 1974.

  18. Latine says:

    I hate to say she deserves it but she did give up a -most likely- very lucrative career to take on the duchess role. She hasn’t gotten much out if it. Add to that the fact her and her husband got thrusted into the roles VERY quickly.

    I think she deserves it more than Kate. After all these years Charles has sidelined everyone in a REAL REAL way. He is trying to kick everyone out of everywhere. Lol. Let her present at Wimbledon.

    • Berkeleyfarm says:

      I’m not sure Birgitte’s career was big shakes (she did, however, have one) but her husband was the second son and had qualified as an architect as a way to make his own living. He had hung out his shingle (as we say here) for his practice but went full time as a working royal after his brother and father died.

      The Duke is the Patron of British Habitat for Humanity among other things “architecture”/building related.

      The Duchess apparently enjoys the tennis and has attended for many years.

    • Maremotrice says:

      Birgitte was a secretary at the Danish Embassy in London.

  19. martha says:

    Until Russia stops bombing Ukraine all to hell and occupying and terrorizing its people, no Russian athlete who hasn’t denounced Putin should be celebrated anywhere in the world. I don’t care if they’re great athletes and charming individuals, they are propaganda for Putin because there is no such thing as nonpoliticized sport in Russia.

  20. Fwiw says:

    I think this duchess is the most naturally attractive working royal.

    I can’t imagine her dressing as Red Riding Hood or Sister Wife or in a front-zip house dress.

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