Carole Middleton's Wimbledon 'heartthrob' was once revealed by daughter Kate - and he's now a family friend

The Princess of Wales once revealed her mum Carole's tennis star 'heartthrob' in a BBC documentary and he's become a family friend

Composite of a picture of Carole Middleton arriving at Wimbledon in 2022 wearing a floral dress and white jacket and a picture of Kate Middleton at Wimbledon in 2023 wearing a lime green dress
(Image credit: Image 1: Photo by Neil Mockford/GC Images via Getty // Image 2:Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage via Getty)

Carole Middleton’s Wimbledon "heartthrob" was once revealed by the Princess of Walesm - and he's now a family friend. 

We’re used to the Prince and Princess of Wales sharing sweet anecdotes about Prince George, Charlotte and Louis at royal engagements, but Kate has also shared a few intriguing insights about her parents over the years too. Several of these are connected to tennis, and more specifically Wimbledon, which all of the Middletons are known to be huge fans of. Carole and Michael have often been spotted cheering the players on courtside at SW19 and in the same 2017 documentary where it was revealed Kate was left "mortified" by her dad Michael’s faux pas, she also good-naturedly disclosed Carole’s Wimbledon "heartthrob".

As reported by Hello! at the time, the Princess of Wales got candid on the BBC’s Sue Barker: Our Wimbledon documentary and explained that Carole has a not-so-secret crush on Roger Federer. Not only that, but she suspects that the eight time Wimbledon champion is "probably" well aware.

Carole Middleton beams as she attends day 11 of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in 2021

(Image credit: Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage via Getty)

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"Roger is my mother's heartthrob. I don't think she will mind me saying that! I think he probably knows that too," she laughingly declared.

So it seems that Carole Middleton very much has a favourite tennis player, but sadly she won’t get to see Roger Federer play at Wimbledon anymore as the Swiss star retired in September 2022. However, Carole’s "heartthrob" has become somewhat of a family friend to the Middletons over the years and he and his wife Mirka attended Pippa Middleton’s wedding, also in 2017.

Roger has also reportedly given Prince George a tennis lesson at Carole and Michael’s Berkshire home, which is close to the Wales’s current residence, Adelaide Cottage. Speaking at Wimbledon after achieving victory in the 2nd round in 2019, Roger described George’s skills as being "already good" and added that he loved seeing how "into sports" he was.

Catherine, Princess of Wales and Roger Federer in the Royal Box on day two of Wimbledon 2023

(Image credit: Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage via Getty)

The now-10-year-old Prince George was also apparently a big fan of Roger’s, just like his grandmother, though the modest star confessed he had an advantage there. Roger added, "I'm the only player he's ever met. Then you have a little head start in who is your favourite player."

In her role as Patron of the All-England Tennis and Croquet Club Kate presented the runner-up trophy to Roger Federer at Wimbledon 2019 and, just like her son, once took to the courts with the tennis icon. She played with him last year in a behind-the-scenes video highlighting the work of the ball boys and girls at the championships.

In the 2017 documentary, Kate explained that simply being at Wimbledon and soaking up the atmosphere each year inspires her to dream big with her tennis skills. 

Princess of Wales holding a tennis racquet plays as British US Open champions Emma Raducanu, Joe Salisbury, Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett (not pictured) return to the LTA's National Tennis Centre for The Homecoming in 2021

(Image credit: Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images for LTA)

"Being able to go into Wimbledon and be part of what is so amazing there, the atmosphere, is incredible, whether you're sitting on Henman Hill or are fortunate enough to be in one of the Centre Courts," she said. "Every time Wimbledon is on I am thinking, 'Yes, I could do the same' and get out the racket. Sadly, never the same results."

Despite this self-deprecating remark, Kate was praised by Roger for getting a shot past him during their game of doubles in 2023.

"I think it was on the line. Amazing!" he supposedly told her, as she responded, "Any tips on my serve at the same time would be very helpful." 

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!