1877 was the first time that the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club hosted the Championships at Wimbledon, London. It remains the oldest Tennis tournament on the ATP and WTA tours and one that is steeped in tradition. From its strict all-white dress code, its preference to referring to players with the prefix ‘Mr.’ ‘Miss’ or ‘Mrs.’ and referring to the men’s and women’s games as ‘Gentlemen’s’ and ‘Ladies” ties, Wimbledon is defined by its many unique traits.
One of these is that it is the only Grand Slam that is patronized by a royal family. The Queen of Britain is the sponsor of the All England Club while it is presided by Prince Edward, Duke of Kent. Although they have been strongly associated with the tournament, it is quite rare to find a member of the Royal Family actually participating in the tournament. On Sunday, before the start of the Wimbledon 2017 final between Roger Federer and Marin Cilic, the Twitter handle of the Royal Family tweeted that King George VI, father of Queen Elizabeth was the first ever member to participate at the Championships.
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) 16 July 2017
The King had paired up with Wing Commander Louis Grieg, the then Duke of York. At the time, though he was yet to become King and was Prince Harold at the time. They played fellow Brits Arthur Gore and Herbert Roper Barrett and were sent crashing to a straight sets defeat. Apart from being father to the current Queen, King George VI was also the main character of the 2010 film The King’s Speech and was portrayed by Colin Firth.
Prince Harry and Kate Middleton were present alongwith the Duke of Kent when Roger Federer beat Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 to win a record eighth Wimbledon title. It is the 19th time the Swiss great has won a Grand Slam. He turns 36 in about a month which makes him the oldest winner at the Championships in the Open era.