Wimbledons Royal Box dramas from boycott by Duchess to Princes F-bomb

The Royal Family have had their own VIP seats at Wimbledon for 100 years, during which time they have not been immune to drama.

Centre Court's 74-seater Royal Box is reserved for only the most famous and influential Brits as well as heads of government home and abroad, to share with members of the firm.

Until 2003 tennis stars had to bow or curtsey to members of the Royal Family sitting in the box of dark green wicker chairs which is now a tradition exclusively for The Queen or the Prince of Wales.

READ MORE: Royals' favourite sports as Kate Middleton cheers on tennis at Wimbledon

Entering the Royal Box has not always proved so simple even for ticket-holding A Listers — just ask F1 champion Lewis Hamilton.

As the patron of All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Kate Middleton is a familiar face down at SW19 but has had an alarming moment of her own caught on camera.

Other howlers at Centre Court involve TV viewers claiming her husband Prince William slipped out a foul-mouthed rant and the Duchess of Kent even boycotting the annual tournament.

Fans were concerned to see the Duchess of Cambridge rush out of the Royal Box last year and not return to the action until her mystery vanishing act was explained.

During a match she was 'pinged' for being in contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19, forcing her to immediately head home to isolate at Kensington Palace.

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As recently as Tuesday (July 5), William added to the eyebrow-raising events witnessed in the Royal Box at Wimbledon.

TV viewers glued to the BBC's coverage of Cameron Norrie's quarter final against David Goffin, claim to have lipread the future king let loose in a sweary outburst.

The Duke of Cambridge shook his head and seemingly muttered: "No, no, no, f*** it."

Before the unravelling of 'Megxit' Meghan Markle was caught up in an embarrassing misunderstanding which Tennis fan and media consultant Sally Jones described as 'bonkers' in 2019.

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Sally revealed the Duchess of Sussex had her security intervene as she took photos of the match. She said: “I told him it was bonkers and that even if I had been trying to snap the Duchess I’d have got a blurry picture of her right ear."

The Duchess of Kent threatened to boycott Wimbledon after event chiefs blocked her attempt to invite the son of a murdered headteacher to join her in the Royal Box.

Her request, which dates back to 1999, was refused because children who were not royals were not allowed to sit in the exclusive enclosure.

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There were reports the letter also told her to keep guests limited to one a day, with the Guardian reporting the Duchess was "in the habit of inviting three or four guests several times during the tournament".

According to the BBC, the duchess was "deeply hurt" by the letter and threatened a boycott of the Royal Box.

Other strict rules Wimbledon will not budge on regarding the Royal Box is the dress code which demands that all men wear a tie and jacket.

In 2015 Lewis Hamilton was left red-faced after being denied entry for his altogether more casual clobber.

A source said at the time: “Lewis turned up an hour late and wasn’t wearing a tie.

“He was told he would need to put one on to enter the box but he threw a bit of hissy fit, which lasted a couple of minutes, and then left.

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“There is a strict dress code and the staff manning the box had no choice, he was asked not to enter the box.”

A Wimbledon spokesman said: “If he was not adequately dressed you could infer that he would not have been let in, but we do not comment on our guests.

"If he came without a jacket, tie or shoes he would have had two choices – not staying or going to get some extra stuff.”

One sports legend who has no trouble meeting the Royal Box dress code is David Beckham who impressed a Centre Court crowd by plucking a stray ball out of the air.

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The since-disgraced Prince Andrew has also been pictured returning a ball to the grass below, but Beckham's regular appearances at Wimbledon have offered far more than a glimpse of his reflexes.

Golden Balls accidentally shared what VIPs in the Royal Box actually see when he took a selfie he took with his mum last year.

In front of each seat is a flat screen TV allowing royalty and A-listers to simultaneously keep an eye on other games at the Championship.

Royal Box guests are also understood to be gifted goody bags as a treat during their trip where they will also be welcomed to a lunch and later tea and drinks in the clubhouse.


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