© Ella Ling

Wimbledon image

How to behave in the Royal Box


Tips on etiquette in the Royal Box at Wimbledon.

Don’t feel as though you have to flounce out if you hear a player cursing or, to borrow John McEnroe’s phrase, “spewing negative energy”, beneath the Royal Box. Lady Diana Spencer left Centre Court after a McEnroe tantrum during the 1981 Championships. “The wedding’s off,” someone said. “Her ears are no longer virgin.”

Don’t wear a hat. “Ladies are asked not to wear hats,” say the All England Club, “as they tend to obscure the vision of those seated behind them.” Dress is smart, with male guests expected to wear a suit, or jacket and tie.

Don’t be afraid to join in a Mexican wave. When the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge sat in the Royal Box last summer, they took part in a Mexican Wave, though it seemed as though Prince William only did so after being urged on by Kate.

Don’t use your mobile phone. Fellow guests were not impressed last summer when a sportsman repeatedly used his phone.

Don’t fall asleep on your dark green Lloyd Loom wicker chair (one of 74 in the Box). There will be television cameras trained on you at all times.

Don’t pack a picnic. You will be invited to have lunch and tea in the Clubhouse, as well as drinks at the end of play.

Don’t expect the players to bow or curtsy before you. Since 2003, they have only been expected to do so for the Queen and the Prince of Wales.