Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to attend Award Ceremony
epa03374965 Prince William (L), the Duke of Cambridge and his wife Kate (R), the Duchess of Cambridge, applaud while watching the Track Cycling qualifying round at the Velodrome during the London 2012 Paralympic Games in London, Britain, 30 August 2012. EPA/FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA |
Just as fire’s existence is dependent on fuel, oxygen and heat in order to flourish, the success of a showbiz event is defined by the matrix of three factors: venue, occasion and guest list. The Albert Hall is the first, a world famous venue probably best known for The Proms, opera and ballet. The occasion is the Winter Whites Gala on Saturday 8th December, and the mixture is ignited by the presence of both tennis and actual royalty in the form of Novak Djokovic and THR The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Part of a champions event series hosted by Statoil at the iconic
Prince William and Kate Middleton have been confirmed tennis fans for a long while, and were spotted at both the Championships at Wimbledon and the London 2012 Olympic games. Both are firmly in the Andy Murray camp – which must make for some interesting conversations with Kate’s sister Pippa, who was a guest of Roger Federer at the US Open… oh, to be a fly on the wall…
It’s not just the Duke and Duchess who have a big interest in tennis. The Royal Albert Hall has a long association with the game, which began back in 1970, and since 1997 it has been a perennial venue on the Champions Tour Masters circuit.
The royal couple will present world number one Novak Djokovic with the inaugural Centrepoint Great Britain Youth Inspiration Award. The commendation is in recognition for the work Novak does through The Novak Djokovic Foundation, which raises huge sums of money for early years education projects.
The venue, occasion and attendees are all first rate then, so the Winter Whites Gala on Saturday 8th December at the Albert Hall promises to be an unmissable night. The Statoil Masters Tennis has three fields in 2012 – Legends, the ATP Champions Tour, and a doubles competition. Tim Henman and Goran Ivanisevic are scheduled to revisit an old rivalry on Saturday evening, complimented by a doubles match including Lendl and McEnroe.
Late on a Thursday afternoon some thirteen years ago I sat down to talk with then 84-year-old Southland ( Southern California ) tennis great Gene Mako in the café of the historic Los Angeles Tennis Club where he was a living legend and had been for many, many years. We chatted a whopping six hours.