16 Photos of the Kate Middleton, Princess Diana, and the Rest of the Royal Family Playing Tennis

Tennis clearly holds a special place in the hearts of the British royal family, who enjoy their sporting exploits. Their love of tennis has turned the annual Wimbledon tennis tournament into an unofficial royal spotting event (and Kate Middleton’s faces at the Grand Slam have become legendary), but their admiration for the sport extends beyond the stands and onto the court. Many royals have relished the opportunity to serve up some game. The best shot of the royal family playing like pros can be found here.

1923

TOPICAL PRESS AGENCYGETTY IMAGES
TOPICAL PRESS AGENCYGETTY IMAGES

Queen Elizabeth’s father, King George VI, enjoyed a good tennis match long before he became King George VI. Following the announcement of their engagement, the Duke of York and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (the future Queen Mother) attended a tennis party.

1926

CENTRAL PRESSGETTY IMAGES
CENTRAL PRESSGETTY IMAGES

The future George VI would go on to become the only royal to compete at Wimbledon, playing doubles with Louis Greig a few years later (they were eliminated in the first round.)

1986

PA IMAGESGETTY IMAGES
PA IMAGESGETTY IMAGES

Prince Edward continues a family tradition by hitting a tennis ball on a London court.

1988

PRINCESS DIANA ARCHIVEGETTY IMAGES
PRINCESS DIANA ARCHIVEGETTY IMAGES

At the Vanderbilt Raquet Club in London, Princess Diana appeared to be ready to serve against German tennis player Steffi Graf.

1988

GEORGES DE KEERLEGETTY IMAGES
GEORGES DE KEERLEGETTY IMAGES

With this outfit, Princess Diana, ever the style maven, made a case for tennis skirts everywhere.

1993

TIM GRAHAMGETTY IMAGES
TIM GRAHAMGETTY IMAGES

Prince Edward must have enjoyed the sport because he was photographed playing at Holyport Real Tennis Court in 1993.

 

WPA POOLGETTY IMAGES
WPA POOLGETTY IMAGES

Kate Middleton (third from left in back row) may not have been a royal when this photo was taken for her high school tennis team, but she appears to have developed a passion for the sport.

See also  Meghan Markle pictured with Archie and Prince Harry at 4th of July parade in Wyoming

 

2007

CARL DE SOUZAGETTY IMAGES
CARL DE SOUZAGETTY IMAGES

Queen Elizabeth may not have inherited her father’s tennis prowess (her Majesty is a known horseback rider), but she was clearly pleased to receive a racket from the British Davis Cup.

2012

WILLIAM WESTGETTY IMAGES
WILLIAM WESTGETTY IMAGES

During a visit to Australia, Prince Charles tossed around a tennis ball at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, despite being at a cricket skills clinic.

2014

POOLGETTY IMAGES
POOLGETTY IMAGES

Prince William hit a few balls in front of fans during a visit to the Coventry War Memorial Park.

2016

SAMIR HUSSEINGETTY IMAGES
SAMIR HUSSEINGETTY IMAGES

During his official visit to Antigua, Antigua and Barbuda, Prince Harry took a swing at a few tennis balls at a Youth Sports Festival.

2017

MAX MUMBY/INDIGOGETTY IMAGES
MAX MUMBY/INDIGOGETTY IMAGES

Kate succeeded the Queen as royal patron of the Lawn Tennis Association in 2016. She takes advantage of her new position by interacting with children at the National Tennis Centre.

2018

During a visit to the Coach Core Essex apprenticeship programme, Kate demonstrated her serve.

2021

ANDY BUCHANANGETTY IMAGES
ANDY BUCHANANGETTY IMAGES

As part of the Lawn Tennis Association’s youth programme, Kate played a match with some school children in Scotland at the Craiglockhart Tennis Centre in Edinburgh.

Prince William of 2021 joined in the fun as well, volleying a few balls with the youth programme.

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