Big swing! Duchess Kate stepped out to view day five of the yearly Wimbledon tennis tournament one day after she was noticeably absent from a major royal event.
The 39-year-old sat in the stands on Friday, July 2, with All England Lawn Tennis Club chief executive Sally Bolton and former tennis star Tim Henman. Kate, a patron of the organizers of the tennis championship, donned a navy blazer over a casual white T-shirt, paired with a mid-length polka dot skirt and white pumps. While at the match, she wore a face mask to adhere to the U.K.’s COVID-19 safety guidelines.
“A warm welcome back to The Championships to HRH The Duchess of Cambridge 👋,” a tweet from the official Wimbledon account read on Friday as Kate arrived at the courts.
Wimbledon has been a special summer occasion for the royal family, with Kate sitting alongside sister-in-law Meghan Markle at the tournament for two consecutive years in 2018 and 2019. The July 2018 visit marked the duchesses’ first solo appearance together.
Kate’s sporty outing on Friday came one day after she missed the unveiling of a statue built to commemorate late mother-in-law Princess Diana’s 60th birthday. Prince William and his younger brother, Prince Harry, had the honor of debuting the memorial to the public on Thursday, July 1, but several members of the British royal family chose not to attend — including Kate.
“Out of respect for Harry and William, [the royal family] wanted it to be just about Diana’s sons and not a huge public affair,” a source told Us Weekly exclusively after the emotional event. “Kate was definitely supporting William while physically not being there and really wanted to attend, but the family as a whole decided it was best for the kids and her to stay home.”
The decision was made “a few weeks ago” about which relatives would go to the ceremony, the insider said, noting that “Kate watched from afar with” Prince George, 7, Princess Charlotte, 6, and Prince Louis, 3.
William, 39, has made sure his and Kate’s three kids have a good image in their heads of the work their late grandmother achieved before her 1997 death.
“We’ve got more photos up around the house of her, and we talk about her a bit and stuff,” he said during the 2017 HBO documentary Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy. “And it’s hard because obviously Catherine didn’t know her, so she cannot really provide that level of detail. So I do regularly, putting George and Charlotte to bed, talk about her, and just try to remind them that there are two grandmothers — there were two grandmothers in their lives. And it’s important they know who she was and that she existed.”
Earlier this year, the little Cambridges penned sweet tributes to Diana while celebrating Mother’s Day in the U.K. “Each year on Mother’s Day, George, Charlotte and Louis make cards remembering their Granny, Diana, for William,” an Instagram caption read in March alongside photos of the kids’ thoughtful cards. “Whatever your circumstances, we are thinking of you this Mother’s Day.”
Scroll down for a closer look at Kate’s Wimbledon outing: