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The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall visit Wimbledon 2012

27th June 2012

Roger Federer, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, AELTC Chairman Philip Brook and Gill Brook meet in the Clubhouse of The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club Wimbledon

Roger Federer, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, AELTC Chairman Philip Brook and Gill Brook meet in the Clubhouse of The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club Wimbledon

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall met tennis royalty today during The Prince's first visit to Wimbledon since 1970.

His Royal Highness met former British number one Tim Henman, while The Duchess, who arrived slightly earlier, chatted with former finalist Andy Roddick.

They went on to take their seats in Centre Court's royal box, where they sat alongside Sir Bruce Forsyth and wife Wilnelia to watch Roger Federer take on Fabio Fognini, players who both took a bow before the match.

The Queen visited Wimbledon in 2010, but The Prince has not been since 1970. His wife visited last year, the same year the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended.

Their Royal Highnesses's visit comes at a successful time for British tennis, with five players through to the tournament's second round.

The Duchess arrived first, meeting club chairman Philip Brook.

Her Royal Highness chatted with Roddick, who was dressed in his tennis whites but threw his cap to one side before the royal meeting.

Former world number one Roddick was waiting to finish his game against Briton Jamie Baker, which was suspended last night with the American one set up.

After the brief meeting, in which The Duchess told him she had watched him playing, he said meeting her was a "lot of fun", adding: "I got to meet The Queen a couple of years ago and these are things you realise you don't get to do very often, they are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.

"We always forget the magnitude of Wimbledon and who might be watching."

The Duchess also met chief steward Andrew Gairdner, who is retiring this year, before attending a private lunch.

Mr Gairdner said: "I told her that we had a number of people who slept out overnight and she was surprised about that.

"It's really nice to see (the royals visiting Wimbledon).

"Two years ago we had The Queen and it's really nice to see The Prince of Wales and The Duchess coming to Wimbledon."

The Prince arrived later, meeting former British number one Henman.

"It was the first time I've met him. It was great," he said.

"He was asking me about how much I still play and I said not a great deal but I'm involved with the tournament, the chairman here keeps me busy."

He said he had lunch with The Queen when she visited the All England Club.

The Prince also met former Australian tennis champions Frank Sedgman, Judy Dalton, Ashley Cooper and Neale Fraser.

The Prince and The Duchess are due to visit Australia and New Zealand later this year as part of the series of royal tours to mark the Diamond Jubilee.

Dalton, Wimbledon finalist in 1968, said The Prince was "charming".

"He said there's a lot of Australians here, which there is. It was lovely."