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RICHARD EDEN: Like all of us, the ‘Sussex Squad’ are feverishly awaiting Kate’s possible Wimbledon comeback… but for a very different reason

Her presence would cause more excitement among the Wimbledon crowd than even the moment a Royal actually played at the tournament in 1926. That was when King Charles’ grandfather, George VI, played in the men’s doubles tournament, partnering his friend and mentor Sir Louis Greig.

And there are growing hopes that the Princess of Wales will be able to attend the championships this weekend to present the trophies after the final.

Catherine’s presence has of course been taken for granted in previous years. As patron of the All England club since 2016, she has become as synonymous with Wimbledon as strawberries and cream.

Kate at the quarter final between Andy Murray and David Ferrer in 2012

Last year she wore a lime green jacket and stylish oversized sunglasses to Wimbledon before news broke that she was battling cancer

Last year she wore a lime green jacket and stylish oversized sunglasses to Wimbledon before news broke that she was battling cancer

The Princess is a keen tennis player herself and a family friend of former Wimbledon star Tim Henman, and has always enjoyed watching matches from the Royal Box.

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This year, of course, is different. She couldn’t attend due to her ongoing cancer treatment – ​​and it’s perhaps no coincidence that attendance is down too. While fans go for the tennis, there’s nothing like a bit of royal viewing to boost ticket sales.

It is therefore not surprising that fans are eagerly awaiting the question of whether Catherine will reach the Wimbledon final.

But the speculation has, almost inevitably, led to a flurry of unkind comments from the so-called Sussex Squad, the obsessed online fans of Prince Harry and Meghan who delight in criticising other members of the royal family.

Their main point is that Catherine should not be allowed to attend a sporting event if she cannot fulfill more serious public obligations.

They claim, without any evidence, that it would ‘prove’ that she had not been ill at all. This is the kind of deeply unpleasant trolling that the princess – like other royals – has to deal with on a daily basis.

Before appearing at the King’s Birthday Parade, as Trooping the Colour is officially known, last month, the princess said she hoped to “take part in a few public appearances over the summer”.

Kate met Meghan Markle at the 2018 tennis championships before the rift within the royal family

Kate met Meghan Markle at the 2018 tennis championships before the rift within the royal family

Holding the winner's trophy after the men's singles final of the 2019 Wimbledon Championships

Holding the winner’s trophy after the men’s singles final of the 2019 Wimbledon Championships

However, she stressed that she had “good days and bad days” and that she was “not out of the woods yet.”

“As anyone going through chemotherapy knows,” she said in a poignant statement, “on those bad days you feel weak, tired and you need to give your body a rest.

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“But on the good days, when you feel stronger, you want to enjoy it to the fullest.”

Let’s all hope she has a few good days this weekend and can draw attention to the tournament with her presence. Although we saw Queen Camilla with her sister Annabel Elliot yesterday, and other Windsors, including Zara Tindall and Princess Beatrice, among the spectators on other days, the Royal Box lacked the winning touch that Catherine brings.

She should ignore the malicious nonsense of the trolls. Most reasonable people would understand that while she may not be fit enough for more demanding tasks, a relaxing day of tennis could be just the tonic to revive her and aid her recovery.

Not only would it be an advantage for Catherine, but it would also improve the national mood.

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