Prince George an exception to Wimbledon rule that sparked apology for ‘unintentional hurt’ caused to fellow royal

Prince George is an exception to a Wimbledon rule that once led to an apology being issued to a member of the extended Royal Family

Prince George is an exception to a Wimbledon rule. Seen here Prince George attends The Wimbledon Men's Singles Final
(Image credit: Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage via Getty)

Prince George is an exception to the Wimbledon rule that sparked an apology for “unintentional hurt” caused to a fellow royal. 

As fans eagerly anticipate when Kate Middleton’s first Wimbledon 2023 appearance could happen now that the Championships have started, others might well be wondering if Prince George could return this year. In 2022 he made his Wimbledon debut alongside Prince William and Kate Middleton when he was 8 years old. Since then he’s gone on to make a number of other appearances at sporting events, including at the cricket recently where Prince William twinned with Prince George.

It’s possible he could watch some of the action at Wimbledon 2023 and his attendance in the Royal Box last year highlighted how Prince George is an exception to a tournament rule. Generally it’s understood that no children other than royal children are allowed to be invited to sit in the Royal Box at Wimbledon. 

Princess Kate, Prince George and Prince William attend The Wimbledon Men's Singles Final

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

Back in 1999 the Duchess of Kent who is part of the extended Royal Family and the wife of the late Queen Elizabeth’s cousin the Duke of Kent, is understood to have requested a seat in the Royal Box for the teenage son of a friend. When this was refused, the then-Club Chairman John Curry went on to release a statement in response, apologizing for any “unintentional hurt” caused, but reminding the Duchess of the Wimbledon rule.

As per The Guardian, he declared, “I regret any unintentional hurt this may have caused to her royal highness. As happens every year with all our royal guests, I reconfirmed our guidelines concerning the invitation of additional guests and the subject of children.”

"Because of demand for space in the royal box, we also ask that, apart from children of the royal family, children are not invited as they exclude other worthy people from attending, many of whom contribute to tennis,” John’s statement continued. 

The royal box before the start of Mens Singles Quarter-Final 2022

(Image credit: Photo by Simon Bruty/Anychance/Getty Images)

Prince George is second in the royal line of succession and was third at the time he attended Wimbledon. As a royal child and one of the most prominent of the late Queen Elizabeth’s great-grandchildren it’s perhaps no surprise that Prince George is an exception to the Wimbledon rule. 

Though it’s not clear whether or not the children of non-working royals like Zara and Mike Tindall would also be exceptions to the rule if they wanted to attend one day. Given this rule generally it seems that Prince George would be able to attend Wimbledon again this year if he wants to go with Prince William and Kate Middleton. 

Prince William and Princess Catherine with Prince George speak with Ball Boys & Ball Girls

(Image credit: Photo Andrew Baker/AELTC - Pool/Getty Images)

He certainly seemed to enjoy it last year and Prince George’s adorably awkward reaction to meeting Men’s Singles Champion Novak Djokovic was so sweet. Reportedly asked beforehand who his favorite player was, Prince George was shy, leaving Prince William to answer, “Djokovic” for his son, as per The Telegraph

“We’ll see how long it lasts. He’ll support the winner,” he jokingly added.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with seven years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.