The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh enjoy visit to All England Open

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14 March 2024

Badminton England were delighted to welcome Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh to the YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships on Thursday as we celebrate 125 years of the sport’s most prestigious event.

Hosted by Badminton England Chief Executive Sue Storey and Championships Director, Chris Miller, Their Royal Highnesses arrived at the start of play on Day Three of the tournament.

The Duke and Duchess first met with volunteers who willingly give up their time to help make the Championships the phenomenal success it is every year.

After taking in some of the sport and watching the best of badminton compete for a place in the quarter-finals, The Duke and Duchess were invited onto the Practice Courts to meet, greet and even compete against our ParalympicsGB badminton squad!

Dan Bethell, Jack Wilson and Jack Shephard were being put through their paces with Head Coach Rich Morris, before two of our Paralympic hopefuls for Paris, Rachel Choong and Krysten Coombs, invited Their Royal Highnesses onto court for a game of mixed doubles.

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As part of their visit, The Duchess was introduced to local club, Mid Warwickshire Badminton Coaching and Masoomin Sports Club, where badminton coaches have been trained as part of the All England Legacy Programme.

Across Birmingham, the legacy fund has enabled players from the city and surrounding communities to embark on coaching qualifications, directly helping to grow the sport domestically.

Their Royal Highnesses also presented two volunteers, Ms Yvonne Fox and Ms Carol Webb, with long-service awards, followed by meeting with representatives of Yonex and the host broadcaster of the Championships, Sunset and Vine.

Sport is a keen interest of both The Duke and The Duchess and they support a growing number of official sporting organisations. The Duke of Edinburgh is Patron of Badminton Scotland as well as Vice-Patron of the Commonwealth Games Federation. The Duchess of Edinburgh remains committed to supporting people with disability, championing both local organisations and national charities.

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Sue Storey, Chief Executive of Badminton England, said “I was honoured to meet Their Royal Highnesses at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham back in 2022.

“And it was our privilege to invite The Duke and Duchess back to this fabulous city to witness the 125th anniversary year of the YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships.

“We are so proud to have hosted them today and shared the passion of our amazing sport with their Royal Highnesses and guests who had a wonderful time watching and we are delighted they have been able to experience this amazing event as our guests.”

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