Kate Middleton made a virtual royal visit to the Bond Primary School in South London ahead of what would have been the finals weekend at Wimbledon. She surprised the children when she introduced Andy Murray to them.
The Duchess of Cambridge is the patron of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. She would have spent this weekend in the royal box at Centre Court. However, the 38-year-old royal dialled in for the video call from her country home Anmer Hall in Norfolk. She interviewed Andy Murray and asked him questions pertaining to his life, and training in lockdown.
The father-of-three said that the first five or six weeks were manageable, but admitted that as time passed, it became difficult to find ways to keep his children entertained. "We're doing the home schooling which is difficult. It was difficult but at times I really enjoyed it as well," the tennis ace said.
Murray gave insights about how he stayed fit while not being able to play tennis for 10 weeks. "I was going out on my road bike which was something I've never done before, so that's something kind of new that I learned I enjoy during lockdown. It's quite important in these times to stay as active as you can because it good for the mind as well," he said.
Kate Middleton asked the budding tennis players to ask questions to Murray. The schoolchildren and their coaches asked about his career and he told them how important the support of his family and friends had been.
"And Andy, have you got any tips for these guys if they want to take up tennis a bit more professionally?" asked the duchess.
"The most important thing is to have fun. If you're enjoying it, you get more out of your lessons and your practising," he replied.
He added: "Listen to your coach, that's very important. That's the two most important things at your age. If you're competing or playing any matches, try really hard in them. But winning and losing isn't the most important thing. Enjoying playing a sport and being active is the most important thing. If you do go on to choose it as your career obviously the winning and losing changes a bit."
Murray also spoke about his disappointment over missing this year's competitions, saying he was "getting old for a tennis player."
Kate visited Bond Primary School in person in January 2018 to see how the Wimbledon Junior Tennis initiative, the AELTC's community tennis programme, delivers free coaching sessions to children in the London boroughs of Merton and Wandsworth.
During the call, Kate watched youngsters practising some of the drills – like running quickly on the spot. "Fantastic! That's very important for your footwork isn't it?" She also praised the sportsmanship on display at the annual tournament.