KATE MIDDLETON surprised Wimbledon fans with a heartwarming tribute after the 2020 tournament was cruelly axed due to coronavirus.
The Duchess of Cambridge narrated a short film to mark what should have been the opening day of the two-week festival.
Wimbledon’s official Twitter account shared the video on Monday morning, in a bittersweet post for tennis lovers.
Kate, who took over from the Queen as patron of the All-England Lawn Tennis Club in 2016, revealed she will join fans in “biding her time” before she can return to the iconic grass courts to “celebrate again”.
In the short clip, Kate, 38, said: “350 days, 14 hours and 12 minutes between the last ball hit and when the next was meant to be.
“Over the years your support has shaped this historic event.
“No matter the time of day or the names on the scoreboard, you have always been there, come rain or shine.
“This year sadly though things are very different, but we will bide our time until we sit on the edge of our seats again and celebrate again.
“So, when the time is right and we open the gates, we will be back again and it will have been worth the wait.”
The Duchess is a near-ever-present at Wimbledon – often seen at the grounds even before marrying into the royal family.
In 2008, she even wrote officials a heartfelt letter to thank them for a “wonderfully relaxed day”.
Kate was present for Sir Andy Murray’s iconic 2013 victory at SW19, as the British star finally ended a 77-year wait for a home nations champion.
Murray grabbed his second title, again in front of the Duchess, in 2016.
For the last two years, Kate has enjoyed a royal girls’ day out – along with the Duchess of Sussex, and sister Pippa Middleton to watch Meghan’s best friend, Serena Williams, in action from the comfort of the Royal Box.
And just last year, Kate thrilled supporters on Court 14, as she trekked away from the show-courts to watch British youngster Harriet Dart take on US ace Christina McHale alongside another Brit ace Katie Boulter.