Forget Ascot, Here’s Why Wimbledon Is The Most Stylish Sporting Event In The British Calendar

This is the same event that saw Princess Diana don aviators and the Queen hit jackpot in a cape and kitten heels...

Princess Diana Wimbledon

by Lucy Morris |

A promise: by the end of July we’ll have a shortage of strawberries and cream and a hangar worth of private jets. Why? Wimbledon is almost here. And this year's event is set to make history: if Roger Federer wins the Grand Slams singles title he will be the oldest player to ever do so at 38. Serena Williams will be competing for the second time since the birth of her daughter in 2017, and naturally her buddy Meghan Markle will be there to cheer her on - marking her second public appearance since the birth of Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor (there's nothing we quite love more than a Markle-Wimbledon fashion moment). Meanwhile other mega tennis female-superstars competing will include Angelique Kerber - who holds last year's title for women's singles, Ashleigh Barty, Naomi Osaka, Johanna Konta and Amanda Anisimova (who's one to watch - incredibly, the American player is only 17 but she already ranks 26th in the world).

If there was ever a time to set yourself up in front of the TV with a pitcher of Pimms and get into the spirit of it, it's now. Ascot may have its rules and regulations, but without even trying centre court has the celebrity and style quotas locked down. Since the dawn of Wimbledon Championships (1877, FYI) it’s been a melting pot of power players (both on the lawn and off). While we can’t always promise sunshine, the oldest tennis tournament in the world is always the hottest ticket.

And when it comes to the style stakes: though other sporting events (cough racing) have dress codes, the guests at Wimbledon’s Royal Box don’t need prescriptive do’s and don’ts to make fashion week’s front row pale in comparison. Richard Quinn may have lured Queen Elizabeth II to LFW, but this humble lawn is a regular haunt for the Sussexes and Cambridges (as well as the whole Middleton clan: Pippa, James, Carroll and Michael), Anna Wintour and a cast of celebrities that make the Oscar’s look empty. Here is the only place in the world you’ll find David Beckham and his mum having a chat with David Attenborough, where Maisie Williams introduces herself to Peter Kay and Dame Maggie Smith and Sir Ian McKellen have a right old gossip.

It’s hard to think of a chicer sporting event. Fifa World Cup? Not a chance. Super Bowl? Nah - those power shoulders are a tad too much. Tour de France? Too much lycra. Invictus Games? If it wasn’t for Meghan Markle, would we even care? Anyway, you get the gist. Here is an event that saw Princess Diana don aviators and the Queen hit jackpot in a cape and kitten heels.

Princess Diana
©Shutterstock

It helps that Ralph Lauren has long been affiliated with this SW19 event (dressing the ball girls and boys) and that while the guest’s wardrobes aren’t dictated, the players are. I for one love a colour scheme - just look at my Pinterest board - and here everyone from Federer to Serena is obliged to stick to the theme. One need only look at the guests to understand the importance of this subterfuge tactic. With the players kept on their sartorial toes, the attendees up the anti. David Beckham and Jude Law shrug off their usual flat caps and pastel cotton scarves for blazers and button-downs. Perhaps it’s because the idea of wearing trashed trainers in the Royal Box is sacrilege, but the men, like the women accessorise to the nines. As the likes of Becks pops in a pocket square, the women chose their chicest sunglasses and statement earrings (after all photographers capture them waist-up from the bleachers).

The whole affair is a thoroughly British institution - on par with saying ‘sorry’ too many times or automatically starting an orderly queue without being asked. In fact, it’s embarrassingly British at times - just think where else would you be able to hush Beyonce and Jay-Z?

The whole affair is a thoroughly British institution - on par with saying ‘sorry’ too many times or automatically starting an orderly queue without being asked. In fact, it’s embarrassingly British at times - just think where else would you be able to hush Beyonce and Jay-Z?

Day drinking champagne while sitting for hours speaking only at a low whisper while turning your head 25 degrees every few seconds have never looked so fun.

See: All The (Unlikely) Celebrity Appearances At Wimbledon

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Orlando Bloom and Kate Beckinsale

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