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Wimbledon Almanack: In one's box

ALMANACK has reassuring news for the Royal Family: Britannia may be doomed, but your box at Wimbledon, and all who spectate in her, are safe.

How do the passengers in the Royal Box pass their time? The chosen notables, 'prominent', we are told, 'in all walks of public life' and numbering 70 every day, arrive for a pre- match meal in the restaurant behind the box and settle down in their comfy courtside chairs at 2pm. No wandering: an RB invite is not to be trifled with and whether it be serve-volley attrition, another British disaster or Andre Agassi's shirt-

hurling that is to their distaste, guests must stay put and wait for tea and cucumber sandwiches (crusts off).

The highlight of last week came from the Mayor of Merton, who on Monday leapt athletically to catch a wayward Slazenger - much to the admiration of the day's sporting guests, Stephen Hendry and Rod Laver.

Also in the box last week was Sam Hammam, the Wimbledon FC chairman, celebrated for his graffiti skills when visiting other London clubs. We are assured that his spray paints were left behind for his day at the All England Club.