Kate Middleton and sister Pippa at Wimbledon

Kate Middleton and sister Pippa at Wimbledon

Britain's Duchess of Cambridge has accepted honorary membership of Wimbledon's All England Club.

The 31-year-old royal was honoured along with US tennis player and former Grand Slam winner Andy Roddick, and it's thought this is the start of Catherine's relationship with the club - also known by its full name of All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.

A spokeswoman for Buckingham Palace said: "The duchess was pleased to accept the kind offer, particularly given her interest in tennis."

Pregnant Catherine - who was known as Kate Middleton prior to her wedding to Prince William in April 2011 - was a regular at the tennis last summer, among the crowd for Andy Murray's Wimbledon Gentlemen's Singles final loss in July, and his Olympic glory the following month.

It's expected she could be invited to succeed the Duke of Kent, 77, as club president when he stands down.

However, after being seen at Wimbledon over the past few years, it's speculated she could miss this summer's Championships because of her pregnancy, with the baby expected mid-July, while the tournament will run from 24 June to 7 July.