Two young table tennis stars had a fixture by royal appointment as they took on the future King and Queen of England.

Denise Payet teamed up with the Duke of Cambridge while Marcus Giles partnered the Duchess for a special mixed doubles encounter during a SportsAid event.

Both athletes are supported by SportsAid and were attending a charity event hosted by markets brokers ICAP in London, where they took to the table, as can be seen below:

Marcus, 17, said: “It was an honour playing with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. They were both pretty good and we managed to get a few decent rallies going!

“The Duchess asked me about my table tennis career, how I started and the support SportsAid give to me.”

Denise, 14 said: “They were very determined and both played well – it was a great experience.

“I spoke to the Duke and he asked me about my table tennis and SportsAid. I told him how SportsAid has helped with my training and tournaments and the different costs involved.”

Denise chats with the Duke of Cambridge
Denise chats with the Duke of Cambridge

Marcus, Denise and the royal couple joined SportsAid alumni, ambassadors and current athletes to help raise money for the charity by ‘closing deals’ on ICAP’s broking floors in London.

ICAP, a leading markets operator matching buyers and sellers in wholesale markets, has run an annual Charity Day for the last 22 years where it donates a day’s revenue and commissions to a selection of charities.

SportsAid, which celebrates its 40th anniversary next year, is one of 13 UK charities, including Place2Be, of which the Duchess is also Patron, and SkillForce, of which the Duke is Patron, chosen this year to benefit from the funds generated.

ICAP’s donation will go towards creating the new ICAP Talent Fund which will directly support 50 young talented athletes through SportsAid each year for the next three years (2016-2018). The money will help with training and competition costs for the athletes who have Olympic and Paralympic hopes for the future.

Marcus Giles with the Duchess, who is SportsAid's Patron
Marcus Giles with the Duchess, who is SportsAid’s Patron

Tim Lawler, Chief Executive of SportsAid said: “The 40th anniversary in 2016 is a platform for the future because the next generation need help every year as they step up to reach their potential. Being involved today with ICAP will create a new talent fund to support tomorrow’s heroes today.

“We’re honoured to have such a committed Royal Patron in HRH The Duchess of Cambridge. Her support shines a spotlight on these young athletes, and to see HRH The Duke of Cambridge so passionate too is a huge boost for them all as they strive to be the best they can be.”