On Monday’s opening day at Wimbledon Center Court in London, the announcer told the crowd of spectators that there were special attendees.
People who played critical roles in the UK’s response to the coronavirus a pandemic — from transport workers to medical staff from Britain’s National Health Service — had been invited to sit in the royal coffers.
But the announcer only partially reached the list before the crowd reacted.
“Today [the special guests] Include leaders who have developed vaccines against COVID, ”the announcer said as the camera magnified the image Dame Sarah Gilbert, a professor of vaccinology at Oxford University who led the team that developed the AstraZeneca vaccine.
For his effort, Gilbert received a damehood earlier this month, when she was named to the Queen’s Honor Roll.
When the Wimbledon crowd noticed who was attending, they erupted in wild applause that soon turned into a standing ovation.
As the joy continued for more than a minute, Gilbert seemed overwhelmed.
People online got excited with a viral video of the ovation.
The Twitter account of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton, also retweeted the video and added their appreciation.
This year’s Wimbledon is the first since 2019. Last year’s tournament was canceled due to the pandemic.
Audience members are he is not required to wear masks when sitting, but it is mandatory to present a negative COVID test or prove vaccination status.