The portfolio: Wimbledon is the centre of attention
It used to be the preserve of royalty, tennis player's wives and of course Cliff Richard. Now Wimbledon's Centre Court is the place to go to see and be seen, says Alice-Azania Jarvis
Friday 24 June 2011
It's that time of year again: when the famous and moneyed descend on SW19 to take in a spot of tennis, all while being taken in by the frantically flashing cameras. Although the guest that everyone has been hoping for has yet to materialise – rumour has it that Kate Middleton is to repeat her 2008 visit now that she's been rechristened the Duchess of Cambridge – there has been no shortage of famous faces in the Centre Court crowd.
Regular attendees Sir Trevor McDonald and Sir Bruce Forsyth have put in a few appearances, as have Sir Terry Wogan, Jennifer Saunders and a tense-looking Felicity Kendall. And Sex and The City's Kim Cattrall was seen back this week, having previously taken in the game last year while starring in a West End production of Noel Coward's Private Lives.
The actresses Dakota Fanning and Kirsten Dunst, chaperoned by the fashion editor Leith Clark, brought a touch of Hollywood glamour.
Grace Jones brought something else entirely: some dubious headwear and a lot of shouting, much of it in Spanish (the word on the baseline is she's a Rafael Nadal fan). And though Kate has yet to show up, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, resplendent in pearls, has been on hand to offer some support from the Royal Family.
If this year's crop of guests seems particularly stellar, bear in mind that, as far as celebrity and Wimbledon are concerned, 'twas ever thus. Royal patronage is as traditional at the All England Club as strawberries and cream – witness players' customary bob to the Royal Box – and the tournament's high society association is well established. Cliff Richard has been attending for years.
Hollywood's interest is a more recent phenomenon: in 2003, the best on offer was Friends' actor Matthew Perry. My, how things have come on.
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