Spoilers ahead …
Prince William and Kate of House Cambridge are at Wimbledon today. They showed up for the Djokovic-Sinner match but at the time of this writing, Will has gone over to watch British player Cameron Norrie play David Goffin.
Big divide in the royal household... William appears to have left Centre Court to go and watch Cameron Norrie on Court 1, while Kate has stayed behind to watch the rest of Djokovic!— David Coverdale (@dpcoverdale) July 5, 2022
If Novak can force a fifth set against Sinner, and he’s currently up a break, I imagine Will will make his way back over to centre court.
Kate is wearing Alessandra Rich today, a blue dress with white polka dots, very much in her style lane. Speaking of tennis style though, let’s talk about this all-white Wimbledon dress code and specifically the impact it has on players on the women’s side who often have to deal with their periods while being told they have to wear white. Anyone who’s ever had a period can relate here to the stress of this on top of the stress of having to compete at this level. As mentioned, some of the athletes go on the pill ahead of Wimbledon, tweaking their menstrual cycles so that they can avoid their periods for the duration of the tournament. These are elite athletes who calibrate their bodies (from food to water to sleep to training) to ensure peak performance and now they’re having to mess with their cycles for a rule dating back to 1877, established by aristocratic pearl-clutchers who didn’t want to see sweat stains – the subtext here being that only poor people sweated and god forbid you look like someone who actually WORKS.
So as I wrote briefly last week in What Else?, as a patron of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, it would be great if Kate ever used her influence to convince the old-timers to relax some of the rules around the whiteness. Like, can we keep the white shirt on top but allow black shorts or skirts on the bottom? Or can black booty shorts be allowed under a white tennis skirt?! It’s not like she’s never gotten her period and wouldn’t be able empathise with how mortifying it might be for some players if/when they leak through their white clothing.
And it’s not like these All England people aren’t familiar with mortification; this is a culture that is mortified by EVERYTHING, bound by protocol and etiquette in order to avoid having to confront any discomfort. How uncomfortable is it going to be one day when there’s a player who just doesn’t give a sh-t anymore and refuses to feel shame around her period and just lets the red stain bloom through her white skirt? On camera?
That wouldn’t be a bad look on her, it would be a bad look on the tournament and the All England Club for being so rigid about their f-cking dress code that they’d rather a player have to show off her period stains than revisit an archaic rule.
But this would require an actual conversation in board rooms among people who don’t get their periods and don’t ever have to think about it. How could they possibly understand? – which is where Kate could come in and actually tell them. If the Kensington Palace comms team is looking for a win, this would be it.