By Nick Harris
24 June 2010
The Queen visited the Wimbledon tennis championships today for the first time since 1977, amid heightened security. But sportingintelligence can reveal that although the royal day out required months of meticulous preparation, the occasion did not cost any significant sum more than would be spent on a typical day during the tournament in SW19.
The Queen’s personal security arrangements are usually handled by Buckingham Palace and today’s trip was no different. Wimbledon is in any case used to handling VIP visits on an almost daily basis, so there was no need for significant extra manpower. Rather resources were concentrated on the Queen’s route across the grounds for the relatively short period she was “in the open” in close contact with the public.
“Actually the one thing that the Club had to do that it would not normally do was buy some purple rope to rope off the route of her walk,” a source familiar with Her Majesty’s day told us. “About 500 yards or so of purple rope. The Club doesn’t keep it in stock as standard, so needed to buy some. But that was about it.”
Elsewhere at the championships today, the USA’s John Isner won the longest professional tennis match of all time, beating Nicolas Mahut of France after three days of play, while Britain’s Andy Murray made smooth progress to the third round in straight sets.
The Queen visits Wimbledon today