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The youngest of Queen Elizabeth’s four children will be stopping in Aiken—the South’s Best Small Town 2018—for a game of tennis.

Meghan Overdeep
September 7, 2018

Make way for the prince!

Humble Aiken, South Carolina is preparing for a visit from a member of the British royal family later this month. According to the palace’s list of official royal engagements, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, will be visiting Aiken Tennis Court on September 17th as part of his 2018 Real Tennis Tour, meant to raise awareness and generate funds for Prince Philip's International Award.

While he’s in town, the youngest of Queen Elizabeth’s four children will be playing court tennis with local pros and attending a luncheon, WJBF reports.

The yearlong tour will bring the Earl of Wessex to every single Court Tennis court in the states. Court Tennis, which is also called "Real Tennis," is more like racquetball than the tennis we’re used to. According to WRDW, Aiken's court, which was built in 1889, is one of only a handful left standing. Aiken is Edward's only stop in the South. 

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Needless to say, residents of Aiken (dubbed the South’s Best Small Town by Southern Living this year) are excited for the prince’s arrival. Local authorities have been preparing for his visit for weeks.

"The protective detail for the prince is highly trained and skilled and we just assist them in any way. We {are} not doing any of the transportation," Lieutenant Karl Odenthal with Aiken Department of Public Safety told WJBF.

Odenthal added that he’s unsure how close the public will be able to get to the royal. "I'm not aware of how close the detail is going to allow them to be to him," he said.