Queen to grace Wimbledon

2010-05-19 18:06

London - Wimbledon Wednesday began planning a red carpet welcome within weeks as the club confirmed that Britain's Queen Elizabeth will make her first visit to the tennis in 33 years on June 24 during the first week of play.

"We are delighted and honoured that the Queen has indicated that she will be attending The Championships this year and we very much look forward to welcoming Her Majesty back to Wimbledon," said Wimbledon chairman Tim Phillips.

"Wimbledon has changed considerably since the Queen's previous visit in 1977, most notably with a transformation of the infrastructure bringing new and much improved facilities, including the Centre Court roof which was unveiled last year.

"What has not changed, though, is the essential character of Wimbledon, created by the passion of players and spectators alike who want to be part of one the world's most exhilarating sporting events.

It will certainly be an exciting occasion for everyone here."

The last visit form the Queen came on the occasion of a women's title won by Briton Virginia Wade in 1977, the last time that a home player triumphed in singles competition.

The queen had been expected to make the drive to SW19 a year ago. But that scenario was spoiled as Andy Murray failed to reach the final, losing in the semis to Andy Roddick.

A British man last won the event in 1936 through Fred Perry.

Diana, Princess of Wales was a regular royal visitor to the tournament in the 1990s.