On Monday, the opening day of the game on Wimbledon Center Court in London, the crowd spokesman told the crowd that some special guests were in attendance.
People who played a pivotal role in the UK’s response to the coronavirus pandemic – from transport workers to UK National Health Service medical staff – had been invited to sit in the royal box.
But the announcer only made it partially through the list before the crowd responded.
“Today [the special guests] Executives include those who developed the anti-COVID vaccines, “the spokesman said as the camera zoomed in on Dame Sarah Gilbert, a professor of vaccinology at Oxford University who led the team that developed the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Gilbert received an honor for her efforts earlier this month when she was added to the Queen’s Birthday Honors List.
When the spectators at Wimbledon realized who was there, they burst into wild applause that soon turned into a standing ovation.
When the cheers lasted over a minute, Gilbert looked overwhelmed.
People on the internet were extremely moved by a viral video of the standing ovation.
The Twitter account of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton, also retweeted the video and added their thanks.
This year’s Wimbledon is the first since 2019. Last year’s tournament was canceled due to the pandemic.
Spectators are not required to wear masks when seated, but they must present a negative COVID test or provide evidence of vaccination status.