Meghan Markle set to make bowls trendy again as Duchess makes surprise visit

Meghan Markle set to make bowls trendy again as Duchess makes surprise visit

Meghan has become a fan after watching people playing from her window at Frogmore Cottage. The duchess was so captivated she went over to chat to players from the Royal Household Bowling Club next door to her home on the Queen’sWindsor estate. According to one observer, Meghan stopped to talk to two female players, telling them she had been watching the game from her upstairs window. Our source said: “Meghan remarked to the two players how elegant the game looked.” But Meghan is not the first royal to make an unscheduled visit to the green. Six years ago, members of the Brimfield and Little Hereford Bowling Club were delighted to see they had a regal spectator for their match against the royal club. The Queen told players she had been watching The Ashes on television before deciding that she needed some air and had spotted the game from her Land Rover.

She spent half an hour watching and posed for photographs with players, giving what one spectator described as a “fist pump” when informed that England’s cricketers had been victorious.

Brimfield player David Evans said: ‘It was a total surprise to the team. She told us she had taken some fresh air and asked if it was OK for her to watch the game.

“She watched us play for around 30 minutes in all, there was quite a lot of pressure on us to perform in front of her. It is an amazing coincidence she turned up, I heard she has only been to the bowls green around four times in the last 18 years.”

The possibility of Meghan expressing an interest in bowls has excited the game’s governing body, Bowls England.

Chief executive Tony Allcock is a former world champion who was awarded an OBE for his services to bowls in last month’s Queen’s birthday honours list.

He said his organisation’s 110,000 members will be “very excited” if Meghan were to develop an interest in the game.

Mr Allcock, 63, said: “It’s fair to say that predominantly our members are of an older level, who find the game a wonderful way to keep fit and active and a way to keep being involved in local communities.

But we do encourage all ages, and we are finding that those in their 30s and 40s are attracted to the sport, which has no barriers and now has a relaxed dress code – shorts are encouraged in the summer.

“We have made huge strides in the game in recent years, and having someone of the duchess’s profile being interested would be a marvellous way to encourage those of younger generations to try bowls.They would find it tremendously rewarding.”

Lawn bowling or “bowling on the green” has fascinated young and old for centuries.

In the 14th century, King Edward III decreed the game should only be played by nobleman and royals.

Henry VIII, himself a bowler, also banned the game for the lower classes in 1511 because archery – essential for national defence – was being neglected.

Almost every English monarch has played the game, with bowling greens on most of the royal estates.

King GeorgeVI – Meghan’s own great-grandfather-in-law – was a keen player and patron of the English Bowling Association.

Published at Sun, 21 Jul 2019 12:38:00 +0000