Saturday, September 10 , 2022
On 27 July 2012, nobody knew whether Queen Elizabeth II would be part of the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at 22:00. On 29 July 1948, at 14:00, Princess Elizabeth accompanied George VI to Wembley Stadium to open the Games of the 14th Olympiad. Elizabeth II, then a princess, was able to attend the ceremony after the 1944 Games were suspended due to the Second World War.
In 2012, doubts were dispelled when Daniel Craig entered Buckingham Palace as agent 007 to take Queen Elizabeth II by helicopter, fly over London and jump together over the Olympic stadium. Once there, ‘The Queen’ received more than a minute’s applause, impassive, half-smiling and looking her usual elegant self in a pink dress and headdress.
Elizabeth II’s interest in sport was a function of the fact that the United Kingdom is a country with a passion for the football of its teams and the England national team. Indeed, as early as 1966, she presented the Jules Rimet trophy to Bobby Moore, captain of the England team, as the winner of the World Cup held in the country.
Her colours have never been well known, but people close to the British Royal Court claim that Elizabeth II was an Arsenal fan, although others say she also watched West Ham matches. Even those closest to her claim that her real team was Millwall, a modest south-east London club in the Football League Championship.
Arsenal were playing Zurich in their Europa League match on the day of Elizabeth II’s death. Spain’s Mikel Arteta’s team heard the news at half-time and before the start of the second half held a minute’s silence in memory of their most important supporter. It is said that Elizabeth II was unable to attend the opening ceremonies at Wembley in 2007 but, in exchange, she invited the Arsenal team of Wenger, Henry and Cesc to visit Buckingham Palace a few weeks later.
The Queen knew how to recognise great British footballers. In the New Year and Birthday Honours she decorated the likes of Alex Ferguson and Bobby Robson and David Beckham and Gareth Bale were recently knighted in the British Empire.
One of the most curious moments of her reign was when the British Crown offered Diego Armando Maradona the position of director general for Latin America of the Footboll For Unity Foundation, an organisation that helps children around the world through football.
The Argentinian star sent a letter to Elizabeth II and the British Parliament in which he thanked them for the position, saying: “Rest assured that the children of Latin America will be well looked after with me. I thank you very much for the trust you have in me because I am honest and the corrupt will not go with me”.
In recent years, it was reported in the English media that Her Majesty was excited about Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to the Premier League and asked the Portuguese player for 80 shirts to give to all the palace employees and for her to wear the one from his debut with Newcastle on 11 September 2021, a match in which he scored two goals.
The death of Elizabeth II brings mourning to British football. The Premiership will postpone the matches that were expected to be played this weekend. This has been announced in an official statement in which they have explained that “this is a tremendously sad time not only for the nation, but also for the millions of people around the world who admired her, and we join with all those who mourn her passing”.
At the moment, the suspended matches are Fulham-Chelsea; Bournemouth-Brighton; Leicester-Aston Villa; Liverpool-Wolves; Southampton-Brentford; Manchester City-Tottenham; Arsenal-Everton; West Ham-Newcastle; Crystal Palace-Manchester United and Leeds-Nottingham Forest.
With this postponement, it is also expected that there will be problems with the initial schedule of Premier League matches due to the break in the Premier League due to the World Cup in Qatar. In addition to the suspension of this matchday, it is expected that there will also be changes in the next one as it will coincide with the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.
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