Tuesday 16 July 2019

Meghan Markle makes surprise appearance at Wimbledon with old school friends

Duchess of Sussex watches Serena Williams on court one on day four of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon
Duchess of Sussex watches Serena Williams on court one on day four of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon
Duchess of Sussex watches Serena Williams on court one on day four of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon
Britain's Meghan (R), Duchess of Sussex watches US player Serena Williams playing against Slovakia's Kaja Juvan during their women's singles second round match on the fourth day of the 2019 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 4, 2019. (Photo by GLYN KIRK / AFP)
The Duchess of Sussex in the stands of court one to watch the match between Serena Williams and Kaja Juvan on day four of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon.
Duchess of Sussex watches Serena Williams on court one on day four of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon
Britain's Meghan (C), Duchess of Sussex applauds after US player Serena Williams beat Slovakia's Kaja Juvan during their women's singles second round match on the fourth day of the 2019 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 4, 2019. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)
Duchess of Sussex watches Serena Williams on court one on day four of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon
Duchess of Sussex after watching Serena Williams on court one on day four of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon
Tennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain - July 2, 2019 Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, with Britain's Katie Boulter during the first round match between Britain's Harriet Dart and Christina McHale of the U.S. REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge
Tennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain - July 2, 2019 Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, arrives at Wimbledon REUTERS/Carl Recine
Tennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain - July 2, 2019 Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, arrives at Wimbledon REUTERS/Carl Recine
Britain's Meghan (C), Duchess of Sussex applauds after US player Serena Williams beat Slovakia's Kaja Juvan during their women's singles second round match on the fourth day of the 2019 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 4, 2019. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)

Laura Elston

Britain's Duchess of Sussex has paid a visit to Wimbledon to watch her friend and tennis superstar Serena Williams in action.

Meghan arrived after play had already started in the American's second round match against Slovenian Kaja Juvan on Court One on Thursday afternoon.

The duchess, wearing an ivory jacket with mid-length sleeves and a stripe pattern over a black top, with blue jeans, was flanked by two friends from her university days as she took her seat among spectators.

Genevieve Hillis and Lindsay Roth were fellow students of the royal who studied both theatre and international relations at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, graduating in 2003.

Duchess of Sussex after watching Serena Williams on court one on day four of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon
Duchess of Sussex after watching Serena Williams on court one on day four of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon

While there was no sign of the Duke of Sussex or their baby son Archie, Meghan was spotted wearing a necklace with an "A" pendant, as well as sunglasses and a Panama hat.

Williams and Meghan have grown close in recent years, with the multiple grand slam champion attending the duchess's wedding in May last year.

Both Meghan and Kate watched the Wimbledon women's final that year, which Serena lost in straight sets.

Baby Archie is due to be christened at Windsor Castle on Saturday, and there is speculation Williams could be a guest at the private ceremony and possibly even named as a godparent.

Britain's Meghan (R), Duchess of Sussex watches US player Serena Williams playing against Slovakia's Kaja Juvan during their women's singles second round match on the fourth day of the 2019 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 4, 2019. (Photo by GLYN KIRK / AFP)
Britain's Meghan (R), Duchess of Sussex watches US player Serena Williams playing against Slovakia's Kaja Juvan during their women's singles second round match on the fourth day of the 2019 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 4, 2019. (Photo by GLYN KIRK / AFP)

Read more: Baby Archie's christening: a guide to Meghan and Harry's inner circle - and godparent contenders

Earlier this week, Williams, 37, said she would wait until Archie was three months old before offering "words of wisdom".

The tennis star, who gave birth to her daughter Olympia in 2017, was asked if she had offered advice to Meghan since Archie's arrival in May.

She said: "I never pass on words of wisdom, because I feel like everyone when they have a kid, especially when you've just had a baby, it's so difficult to just be."

Tennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain - July 2, 2019 Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, arrives at Wimbledon REUTERS/Carl Recine
Tennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain - July 2, 2019 Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, arrives at Wimbledon REUTERS/Carl Recine

The 23-time grand slam champion added: "It's just like, get through the first three months and then four months and then we can talk."

After dropping the first set, Williams went on to win in an hour and 34 minutes.

Speaking to reporters afterwards she said she would not be attending baby Archie's christening.

"No, I'm working on Saturday," she said.

Earlier on Thursday, Swiss great Roger Federer revealed he had recently played tennis with Prince George.

Asked if she might be one day doing the same with Archie, Williams said: "I'm actually working on Olympia's game. Maybe she can give tips to him. She'll be his older sister.

"We like to do a lot of sports with Olympia. Actually she likes soccer more, so we'll see."

Meghan's visit to the All England Club comes after her sister-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge, made her own surprise trip to SW19 on Tuesday.

Kate enjoyed a behind the scenes tour at the Championships and made the rare move of watching part of Brit Harriet Dart's match on an outside court.

Meghan arrived on one of the hottest days of the tournament so far this year, with temperatures expected to reach 26C (79F).

Other famous faces at Wimbledon on Thursday included ex-chancellor George Osborne, retired broadcaster Sir Trevor McDonald and former tennis star Tim Henman.

Andy Murray, who will be Williams's partner in the mixed doubles competition, won his first match at Wimbledon in two years as he began his men's doubles campaign, partnering Pierre-Hugues Herbert in a 4-6 6-1 6-4 6-0 victory over Marius Copil and Ugo Humbert.

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