Unique opportunity to play Real Tennis at Fairlawne

Updated: 25 Apr 2018 How to apply
Published: 19 Apr 2018

Save the date - Monday 9th July 2018 - only a handful of Real Tennis players will have played on this UK court

Unique opportunity to play Real Tennis at Fairlawne

A reserve of £2,500 per player (including a lunch guest) has been set for this unique experience.

Sealed bids are now being accepted by the T&RA CEO. Due to the nature of this process, bids must be received by post or person in a sealed envelope. The CEO will acknowledge the receipt of each bid electronically - so please indicate clearly on the outside of the envelope Fairlawne18, along with your name and email address.

The bids will be opened at midday on Thursday 31st May 2018. The top nine highest bids will be notified shortly thereafter.

Payment is not required at this time but will be collected by the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme in early June.

Winning bids will be offered the opportunity to play on the court for one hour with or against HRH followed by a three course lunch at the lodge. The players will also be able to bring a guest/partner to watch and join the lunch. It is hoped that this unique experience will  spark quite a lot of interest and that the actual bids will come in higher than the reserve. Dress code will be relatively informal, avoiding the need to change into suits/jackets after the matches.


Throughout 2018 HRH The Earl of Wessex will seek to play every Real Tennis court in the world – to raise significant funds to enable more young people to start their DofE both in the UK and abroad. 

Achieving a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award isn’t the end of a DofE journey, it’s just the beginning. Many Award holders go on to embrace a lifetime of volunteering, pursue a career using their honed skill or develop a love for the outdoors.

HRH The Earl of Wessex is no different to other Award holders and, over 30 years on from achieving his Gold Award, is continuing to improve on skills learned during his Physical section activity, playing Real Tennis, with the aim of supporting a new generation of DofE participants to experience the DofE’s life-changing benefits.

The vital funds that The Earl raises will help the DofE Charity to transform the lives of young people from all backgrounds and circumstances, across the globe; equipping them with the skills and attributes to reach their potential in life and work. HRH will play a total of three sets of doubles on each court, each with a different partner and opponents and undertake a wide range of fundraising activity for the DofE

The tour started in January at Cambridge, where HRH learnt to play Real Tennis as part of his physical section of his Gold award and the rest of the UK courts are spread throughout the year, with Australia just having been completed, France in May and the USA in September.

  1. Cambridge University Tennis Court (2 courts) – January 2018
  2. Bristol Real Tennis Club – February 2018
  3. Holyport Real Tennis Club – February 2018
  4. Manchester Tennis & Racquet Club – March 2018
  5. Queen’s Club (2 courts) – March 2018
  6. MCC, Lord’s Ground – March 2018
  7. Seacourt Tennis Club – April 2018
  8. Petworth House Tennis Club – May 2018
  9. Newmarket Real Tennis Club – May 2018
  10. Radley College – May 2018
  11. Canford School – June 2018
  12. Hardwick House – June 2018
  13. Oratory Tennis Club – June 2018
  14. Hatfield House Tennis Club – June 2018
  15. Hyde Tennis Club – June 2018
  16. Prested Hall Racket Club (2 courts) – July 2018
  17. Fairlawne Estate – July 2018
  18. Falkland Palace Royal Tennis Club – July 2018
  19. Leamington Tennis Court Club – September 2018
  20. Moreton Morrell Tennis Court Club – September 2018
  21. Wellington College Real Tennis Club – September 2018
  22. Jesmond Dene Real Tennis Club – October 2018
  23. Oxford University Tennis Court – November 2018
  24. Middlesex University Real Tennis Club – November 2018
  25. Royal Tennis Court, Hampton Court – November 2018

As part of this challenge  access has been granted to the usually ‘private’ court at Fairlawne in Kent. This is an opportunity to take nine players, each to play with or against HRH for one set (one hour on court) and a guest to join HRH for a unique day of Tennis and an exclusive lunch event hosted by Mr James Swartz, personal advisor to Prince Khalid, the court’s owner.

A date has been secured – 9th July - and a provisional outline of the event includes:

1015 arrive Fairlawne

Meet players/guests

1030 play commences

3 sets of doubles (I hour on court for each) 9 players plus HRH

1330 play ends

1345 transfer by minibus to lodge

1400 lunch hosted by Private Secretary of owner and attended by HRH

1530/1600 depart

The dress code will be relatively informal, avoiding the need to change into suits/jackets post the matches.


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