At Monday’s opening day of play on Wimbledon’s Centre Court in London, the announcer told the crowd of spectators there were some special guests in attendance.
People who played critical roles in the UK’s response to the coronavirus pandemic — from transport workers to medical staffers with Britain’s National Health Service — had been invited to sit in the royal box.
But the announcer only made it partially through the list before the crowd reacted.
“Today [the special guests] include leaders who have developed the anti-COVID vaccines,” said the announcer, as the camera zoomed in on Dame Sarah Gilbert, a professor of vaccinology at the University of Oxford who led the team that developed the AstraZeneca vaccine.
For her efforts, Gilbert received a damehood earlier this month when she was named on the Queen’s birthday honors list.
When the Wimbledon crowd realized who was in attendance, they burst into wild applause that soon became a standing ovation.