In Williams' box were sporting royalty, golfer Tiger Woods and Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton, as well as fashion icon Anna Wintour.
The stars had certainly aligned on Centre Court to watch the American, who was one win away from tying Margaret Court for the all-time lead in grand slams and collecting a maiden major as a mum.
But Angelique Kerber's straightforward victory means the 36-year-old will have to wait a little longer to make further history.
Kerber, who had flown under the radar in this tournament due to Williams' inspirational tale and the exodus of top-10 seeds,
beat the 23-time grand slam winner 6-3 6-3 in 65 minutes to make some history of her own.
The 11th seed became the first German winner at Wimbledon since Steffi Graf in 1996, which might make up somewhat for the country's surprise early exit
from the World Cup.
'A dream come true'
Williams doesn't often lose grand slam finals -- in 30 major finals, this is only her seventh loss -- but Kerber became the first person other than the American's older sibling, Venus, to beat her more than once in a grand slam final.
The first time came at the Australian Open in 2016 before Williams turned the tables in another high-quality tussle at Wimbledon. Kerber secured slam No. 2 at the US Open the same year on her way to ascending to top spot in the rankings.
The German described her Wimbledon win as a "dream come true."
"I knew I had to play my best against a champion like Serena, it is always an honor to share a court with her," Kerber, who embraced Williams at the net after her win, said on court.
"It is my second chance to play in front of you on Centre Court, I enjoyed every second of the last two weeks so thanks for all the support."
While not away from the game due to injuries or to start a family like Williams, Kerber's form slumped badly last year.
She failed to reach a single grand slam quarterfinal and eventually cut ties with Torben Beltz, the man who had coached her to two grand slams. So this is a comeback of sorts for the 30-year-old, too.
Her Wimbledon success followed a semifinal showing in Melbourne and a quarterfinal at the French Open.
And now, Kerber is only one grand slam away — Roland Garros — from completing her collection.
Unforced errors costly