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New role for Kate? Duke of Kent steps down as president of All England Club

Kate Middleton: Expert on chances of Clarence House move

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The Duchess of Cambridge, as Patron of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC), is expected to absorb some of the Duke of Kent’s duties. The royal, 85, shared he is stepping down as President after more than 50 years in the role.

Sunday will see the departing Duke of Kent present his last ever trophy to the men’s singles champion of Wimbledon.

However, the AELTC have no plans to directly replace the royal’s position, according to the Telegraph.

The club values the Duchess of Cambridge’s patronage and does not want to detract from a high profile royal endorsement.

The Duchess is expected to take on the responsibility of presenting the trophies after the Duke’s departure.

Writing in the Telegraph, the Duke of Kent said he holds a “distinct sense of pride” in this “quintessentially British tournament”.

He noted that it had become the grail for athletes young and old, adding: “More than any other Championship, they all want to win Wimbledon.”

The royal added: “No matter how many times we take our seats, every visit is as exhilarating, and nerve wracking, as the last.

“It has been an honour to serve this remarkable organisation for as long as I have.

“The presidency of the club was held by both of my parents, and the weight of representing an institution that holds such a unique place in our nation’s fabric has not been lost on me.

“To say I will miss it, is an understatement.”

The Duke of Kent, first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II has been President of the AELTC since 1969.

He has presented the Wimbledon trophy to champions such as Serena Williams more than 350 times.

The departing royal took over from his mother, Princess Marina, who held the role for 26 years until 1968, making the presentations at the end of each tournament

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Ian Hewitt, chairman of the AELTC and the Championships, praised the Duke for his “extraordinary service” to the sport.

He said: “We would like to thank The Duke for his extraordinary service to the club and the championships during his time as our president.

“A lot has changed at Wimbledon in the time that the Duke has been our president, from our champions to our grounds, and yet so much has stayed the same.

“Our traditions are at the core of what we do, and we thank the Duke most warmly for his dedication.”

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