Why didn't the Wimbledon players bow or curtsy to Queen Camilla?

The King And Queen Visit Cornwall
The King And Queen Visit Cornwall / Finnbarr Webster/GettyImages

For the first time since she became queen, Queen Camilla was in attendance at Wimbledon on July 12. She took her place in the royal box with her sister at her side, but things were a bit different in terms of formality.

Unlike when Queen Elizabeth II or Prince Phillip would attend Wimbledon, there was no curtsying or bowing from the tennis players taking part in the championship series. And thanks to People Magazine, we now know why.

Why didn't Wimbledon players bow or curtsy to Queen Camilla on July 12?

Apparently there was a change in protocol that went into effect in 2003 thanks to the Duke of Kent, who was the President of the Club at the time. He felt, at the time, that it was time to end the tradition of having members of the royal family curtsied or bowed to.

The rules were then changed to show respect once more to Queen Elizabeth II and her heir-to-the-throne, Prince Charles, as they were the ruling monarch and next in line. This means that the only people that the Wimbledon players would actually curtsy or bow to now are King Charles and Prince William.

However, it has been quite some time since King Charles attended a Wimbledon event. In fact, it seems that he has only attended twice. He was in attendance in 1970 and then again in 2012. This means that it is unlikely for him to be in attendance at Wimbledon. That being said, Prince William and Princess Catherine are much more likely to be in the royal box thanks to their appreciation for the sport.

And while we have yet to see Prince William make his debut at Wimbledon now that he is heir to the throne, we have seen Princess Catherine in the stands in 2023.

Either way, it makes sense that Queen Camilla would not receive bows and curtsies from Wimbledon players, as she was not with her husband or Prince William. And with them being the only ones for whom protocol dictates a formal acknowledgment from the players, we probably won't be seeing it unless the Prince of Wales attends this year's Wimbledon.

Did you know about the change in protocol? Are you surprised that there was no bowing or curtsying?

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