Fans are more used to seeing her in tennis whites battling it out on court, but lastweekEmmaRaducanu served up an altogether more elegant look as she was awarded her MBE at Windsor Castle.
“It’s been great to receive my honour today from His Majesty the King – I feel extremely grateful,” said the US Open 2021 winner, who looked smashing in a belted lace dress and black boater hat. Emma, 20, was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire for her services to tennis, after she won the US Open aged just 18. Her historic victory against Canadian Leylah Fernandez made Emma the first British woman to win a Grand Slam title since Virginia Wade in 1977, and the youngest British Grand Slam champion.
Emma’s rise to stardom has been stratospheric ever since. Not only has she proved an inspiring role model, she was also awarded the coveted Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY) award las t December and has signed lucrative deals with brands from Evian to Dior – whose chic pieces the French fashion label’s ambassador wore head to toe at Windsor Castle.
Collecting her MBE from the King isn’t her only royal match. Emma hit it off with the then Duchess of Cambridge last September playing doubles at an event for British tennis stars in Roehampton, south-west London. “She was very supportive, and it was great to play tennis with her… She has a great game and actually an incredible forehand,” said Emma of teaming up with Kate.
The Princess and husband the Prince of Wales have been equally vocal in their support of the tennis ace, calling Emma’s stellar year, after her SPOTY win, “truly incredible”. Emma, who was raised in Bromley in south-east London by mum Renee and dad Ian, joined other sporting stars collecting accolades bestowed by the Queen before her death.
They included ex-Sunderland footballer Gary Bennett and former Test player and cricket administrator Hugh Morris, both of whom collected MBEs.