The Middleton family are big Wimbledon fans, and every year at the tennis tournament, the whole clan are seen taking their place at various high-profile matches. Etiquette dictates that Kate Middleton’s parents, Carole Middleton and Michael Middleton, and her siblings, Pippa Middleton and James Middleton, should have access to the royal box while watching the playoffs.

This prestigious area is reserved for royals, athletes, and celebrities, with ticket holders including Vogue editor Anna Wintour, David Beckham. and Andy Murray’s wife, Kim Sears. As relatives of heirs to the British throne, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, the Middletons would normally be afforded coveted seats in the VIP arena.

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Pippa and Carole at Wimbledon.

And though they have been allowed into the royal box on previous occasions, last week Carole and Pippa were pictured outside of it as they took their places alongside normal folk in the stands. This unusual move prompted speculation as to why they would have been refused entry. And the answer is, as reported by Hello! magazine — they were late to the match in question.

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Stewards at the royal box operate a strict entry policy, which leaves any late-comers stranded (unless, presumably, you’re the Queen). Carole and Pippa didn’t seem too worried about the rejection, however, and were snapped applauding and laughing together quite happily.

Naturally, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge — who have attended Wimbledon several times this year — don’t seem to have encountered the same problem as Kate’s mom and sister. Whether this is because they are simply better time-keepers or more worthy VIPs remains to be seen.

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But Carole and Pippa aren’t the only ones to have fallen foul of the royal box’s stringent code at Wimbledon. In 2015, F1 champion Lewis Hamilton was turned away from the box during the men’s final because he was wearing a flowery shirt as opposed to a suit and jacket. His spokesperson put it down to an “unfortunate misunderstanding regarding the dress code at Wimbledon.”

This story originally appeared on Grazia.

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