Meghan is ‘lawn bowling fan’ after seeing game near Frogmore Cottage

Meghan ‘has become a fan of lawn bowling’ after watching pensioners playing the ‘elegant’ game from her window at Frogmore Cottage

  •  Duchess of Sussex made surprise visit to Royal Household Bowling Club
  •  The club is located next to her Frogmore Cottage on Queen’s Windsor estate  
  •  In 2013, the Queen paid a visit to the same club and stayed to watch the match 
  •  Diana, Princess of Wales, was photographed more than once trying lawn bowls 

Lawn bowling could be on the way to becoming trendy, thanks to the Duchess of Sussex taking a keen interest in the quintessentially English sport. 

Meghan Markle apparently made a surprise visit to the Royal Household Bowling Club, located just next to her Frogmore Cottage home on the Queen’s Windsor estate, and is said to have been taken with the sport after observing it from her upstairs window.

One source told The Sunday Express: ‘Meghan remarked to the two players how elegant the game looked.’

Bowled over: Meghan Markle is said to have taken an interest in ‘elegant’ sport of lawn bowls

It’s not the first time that the manicured lawns of the Royal Household Bowling Club have welcomed a royal visitor.

In  2013, members of the Brimfield and Little Hereford Bowling Club, were delighted when the Queen stopped by to watch their match from the sidelines, before chatting to the players and posing for photographs.   

At the time, Brimfield player David Evans, 57, said: ‘It was a total surprise to the team. 

‘She told us she had taken some fresh air and asked if it was okay for her to watch the game.

‘We were absolutely delighted and it being our 25th anniversary tour made the day even more special for us.

‘She was very relaxed, we formed a guard of honour and we were introduced to her.’

Surprise visit: The Queen also stopped by at the Royal Household Bowling Club in 2013

The Queen took an interest in the match played by Brimfield and Little Hereford Bowling Club

Guard of Honour: Her Majesty took her time to watch the game before meeting all the players

Adding that Her Majesty visited on the same day as England had been victorious in The Ashes, he said: ‘As she came along the line, one of our players, Jim Allen, told her about the cricket score, which had finished just a few minutes earlier.

‘She seemed delighted and said how her policemen had been keeping her updated, we are sure she gave a slight fist pump at the news.

‘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 that she turned up, I heard she has only been to the bowls green around four times in the last 18 years.’ 

The late Diana, Princess of Wales, delighted the crowds during a game in Indonesia in 1989

 Princess Diana was photographed on more than one occasion trying her hand at the sport

Lawn bowls is a sport that Meghan’s late mother-in-law, Diana, would certainly have approved of. 

The Princess of Wales was photographed on more than one occasion trying her hand at lawn bowls, including while on tour to Indonesia in 1989, as well as while opening indoor bowl centres in Charnwood and Luton.  

While Kensington Palace has declined to comment on the Duchess of Sussex’s enjoyment of the sport, former world champion Tony Allcock, who is also chief executive of Bowls England, said the organisations 110,000 members would be ‘very excited’ by her involvement.

He added: ‘We have made huge strides in the game in recent years, and having someone of the duchess’ profile being interested would be a marvellous way to encourage those of younger generations to try bowls.

‘They would find it tremendously rewarding.’

Ancient game: Historians believe the game of bowls might date back to 5,000BC in Egypt

Bowls is a game said to be as old as time. 

Rounded stones were found in Egyptian tombs dating from 5,000BC, around the same time the wheel was invented, with experts believing this to be an early form of the pastime. 

In England, the oldest lawn bowls site is in Southampton, which was established in 1299. 

Henry VIII was a keen lawn bowler, but banned the game for lower classes because “Bowyes, Fletchers, Stringers and Arrowhead makers”, who were essentially for the national defence, were all spending more time playing bowls than on archery practice. 

The most famous story about lawn bowls involves Sir Francis Drake and the Spanish Armada. Upon sighting of the massive fleet, on July 19, 1588, Drake was swiftly informed, but replied:  ‘There is plenty of time to win the game and thrash the Spaniards too.’

Fortunately for him, Drake indeed finished the game before the British Navy saw off the Armada.  


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