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The Wimbledon Crowd Gave A Standing Ovation For A Woman Who Helped Develop A COVID Vaccine

"An opening day on Centre Court with a difference."

Posted on June 28, 2021, at 12:47 p.m. ET

Aeltc / POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The Wimbledon crowd stands and applauds for professor Sarah Gilbert, who can be seen wearing a red jacket in the front row.

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.

An opening day on Centre Court with a difference... A special moment as we say thank you to those who have played such an important role in the response to COVID-19 #Wimbledon

Twitter: @Wimbledon

As the cheering continued for more than a minute, Gilbert looked overwhelmed.

People online were extremely moved by a viral video of the standing ovation.

Must confess to getting a little teary eyed at this reception for the scientists and healthcare workers who are getting us all out of this hell https://t.co/XGlAuHE4Ga

Twitter: @LiamThorpECHO

The most deserved round of applause that Wimbledon has ever seen 💗 https://t.co/ScoF1C2PAS

Twitter: @GeorgiaLadbury

Thank you Madame. This is the best thing I have seen in months! https://t.co/nNJ2K3ztB2

Twitter: @mishra_baibhav

This is quite something. Thank you Dame Sarah Gilbert and all who have helped in the amazing effort against #COVID19 https://t.co/aqit3ev0af

Twitter: @michellegant76

The Twitter account for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton, also retweeted the video and added their thanks.

Thank you Dame Sarah Gilbert and the incredible team that developed the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID vaccine 👏 https://t.co/2TAyzBKFCa

Twitter: @KensingtonRoyal

This year's Wimbledon is the first since 2019. Last year's tournament was canceled due to the pandemic.

Audience members are not required to wear masks when seated but are required to present a negative COVID test or show proof of vaccination status.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.