The Crown, a hugely successful drama series on Netflix, only briefly touched on Queen Elizabeth II’s passion for horse racing and breeding. However, the late monarch, who passed away on Thursday night, was an avid sports fan, particularly of cricket, football, Wimbledon, and, of course, Royal Ascot.
Queen Elizabeth II and Sports
In the Scottish family home, Queen Elizabeth II initially fell in love with the game’s beauty. According to British royal house historian Robert Jobson, the small queen played goalkeeper for the majority of the family’s football matches at Balmoral.
But because Queen Elizabeth II was crowned on the same day as the FA Cup final was played in 1953, football has always been linked to her dynasty. It was May 2, and the timing couldn’t have done anything but encourage more people to purchase televisions in Great Britain, which saw Stanley Matthews, the captain of Blackpool and one of the greatest players in history, receive a cup from the new queen for the first time and in front of a large crowd.
Following then, the queen’s attendance in the Wembley box remained commonplace until England’s lone World Cup victory in 1966, when Bobby Moore took the Jules Rimet Cup from Queen Elizabeth II.
Another noteworthy occasion from her reign about which the legendary Three Lions commander was continuously amused. “I looked at my hands… They were dirty!” Moore said as he quickly cleansed himself after being concerned about the monarch’s spotless white gloves.
Cricket and Wimbledon
It was typical to see the Queen Elizabeth II greeting cricket teams at Lord’s. Everything went according to plan. But Dennis Lillee’s request for a signature at the Melbourne Cricket Ground was different. The great Australian fast bowler put out a pen and an object and asked for an autograph when the Queen met the players before to the Centenary Test in 1977. The Queen more than made up for her inability to accept immediately by providing a signed photo later.
When Virginia Wade won the women’s singles title at Wimbledon in 1977, the Championship’s centennial year, she was there in the Royal Box. Jahangir Khan, a famous squash player from Pakistan, may have asked Chris Walker, a former squash player and India’s coach, questions about his game, but the question that completely baffled him came from the Queen Elizabeth II.
When she arrived to launch a squash competition that day, he made her wait. After a brief bathroom break, he eventually sauntered outside, and a terrified sentry exclaimed, “I have found him!” and requested him to accompany him while rushing along.
About the Other Sport Events
A body-double of Her Majesty was thrown out of a helicopter at the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, necessitating the assistance of Daniel Craig’s 007 to return the Head of State safely and dry. This was the most outrageous opening ceremony prank in the history of the Games.
Four years after Beijing utilized the Olympics and sports to soft sell their extravagant opening-up-to-the-world celebration, and despite the Games usually being exploited as cringe-worthy messaging of patriotic pride by governments, here was Britain wearing the most illustrious Crown fairly casually. And the Queen Elizabeth II was complicit.
The Commonwealth Games were also under the Queen’s patronage. And the Glasgow Games in 2014, where Scotland and England participate individually, may have been where she received the most admiration.
Nowhere in 2014 was the decolonizing attitude more fervent than in Scotland, which served as the head of the “realm,” with the whole concept of the Commonwealth and empire swiftly dying out in the modern world. The Glasgow Games took place soon after the Diamond Jubilee festivities when Scotland was about to hold an independence referendum and her popular approval ratings were over 90%.
Glasgow, a fiercely independent city known for its abhorrence of all signs of “English tyranny,” however, gave one monarch a welcome to remember during the opening ceremony. They even have a statue of Wellington Duke, who frequently mocks authorities by wearing a traffic cone upside down on his head.
Queen Elizabeth II received one of the loudest standing ovations from the crowd when she exited her black royal car. It demonstrated her stature in the concept of the Commonwealth, which is generally accepted despite the turbulent histories of kingdoms. She was genuinely adored by Glaswegians and Scots.
The Queen continued to be adored throughout the Commonwealth even when countries in the Caribbean broke away from the realm and began to explore their republican identities, casting off the royal burden and embracing total independence.
Her Favorite Team and Horses
According to people connected to the British Royal House, Queen Elizabeth II preferred West Ham in the 1960s, namely while Moore was the captain, despite Moore’s efforts to consistently maintain his impartiality on this matter.
But later, in 2007, after Arsenal had won the FA Cup, he would greet them at Buckingham Palace and show a lot of sympathy for their group. Cesc Fábregas, who was also present, noted that the queen is a huge Arsenal supporter after the game.
The British monarchy’s obsession with Arsenal, though, dates back to the time when Wenger led a team known as the “Invincibles” to the Emirates Stadium and won the Premier League, earning them an invitation to meet Prince Charles for an official reception.
The queen was closely connected to the football world, but she also had a deep interest in horses. As a result, throughout her reign, Elizabeth II bought thoroughbred horses, utilizing them to triumph in prestigious British competitions like the Epson Derby, the Oaks, or the St. Léger as well as the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot. It makes sense that it is called “the sport of Kings” because of this.