Prince Edward visits Aiken, plays court tennis

September 18, 2018

A member of the British royal family made it to Aiken after all.

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, visited Aiken on Monday, arriving at the Aiken Tennis Club just before 1 p.m.

The prince, who was ferried to the Newberry Street club in a fleet of cars, quickly entered the club after meeting with a greeting party.

Prince Edward was scheduled to play at least three matches of court tennis at the club, according to his representatives.

Court tennis – also known as real tennis – is the precursor to modern tennis, which used to be known as lawn tennis. The Aiken Tennis Club was established in 1898.

The private tennis facility along Newberry Street is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Prince Edward’s visit is a part of his grander 2018 Real Tennis Tour. The tour is designed to highlight The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, a youth excellence and fitness program that has expanded internationally.

Prince Edward is the board of trustees chairman for The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation.

Late last week, the prince’s Aiken visit was canceled in the face of then-Hurricane Florence. His visit was ultimately reconfirmed – and reorganized to be a relatively more low-key affair – for the same day.

Club officials would not comment on his visit Monday afternoon.

Prince Edward, 54, is the youngest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. Prince Edward is now 10th in line for the British throne.

On Tuesday, Prince Edward is scheduled to visit Boston, and on Wednesday will be in New York, according to his royal itinerary.

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