Kate Middleton
The tennis-loving Duchess is said to be looking forward to her new role at Wimbledon IBTimes

Kate Middleton is to take her place on centre court at Wimbledon this summer as patron of the All England Club. The Duchess of Cambridge will take over the role, which was previously held by the Queen, but the new appointment is not such great news for the Queen's cousin, the Duke of Kent, who has been presenting the winner's trophies for the last 40 years.

From 2017, 34-year-old Kate, who is well-known for her love of tennis, will also have the honour of presenting the awards to the Wimbledon champions. Allowing him to bow out, the 80-year-old Duke has been tipped to do the honours for one more year, Mail Online reports.

A spokesperson for Wimbledon said: "They will let us know when the change happens. We will just be told. Until we hear otherwise I can only assume the Duke will hand out prizes as usual."

Kate's love of the sport is widely publicised and nowhere was her passion more in evidence than at the 2014 Wimbledon final, in which then reigning champion, Andy Murray - who was defending his title - was defeated by Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets in the quarter-finals.

It was clear who Kate, who was pregnant with Prince George at the time, was rooting for as she watched the nail-biting match with Prince William. Looking on through dark shades from the Royal Box, Kate grimaced through the nail-biting match as Murray lost the first two sets before finally crashing out.

In 2013, Kate accepted an honourary membership at the All England Tennis Club, succeeding Prince Edward as the All England Club's president. A statement issued on behalf of the Duchess at the time said of the royal appointment: "The Duchess was pleased to accept the kind offer, particularly given her interest in tennis".