Football and pigeons. Who did Elizabeth II root for and in what kind of sport did she become successful

Elizabeth II was a big fan of sports. She regularly attended horse races, and met her husband on the tennis court. What is known about the sports preferences of the British queen – in the material “RBK Sport”

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Queen Elizabeth II

(Photo: Getty Images)

Football

For many years, the British were occupied with the question: which football team does the Queen support? Unlike the members of her family, Elizabeth II did not speak publicly about her sympathies. She was counted among the fans of many clubs. But in recent years, the list of such teams has noticeably narrowed.

Photo: West Ham official website

Photo: West Ham official website

In 2009, the media reported that the Queen actually supports West Ham United. It was noted that she began to support the club in the 1960-1970s, when the team from London was led by the legendary coach Ron Greenwood.

It was under him that the “Malatoboys” won their first and last European trophy – the Cup of Cups. In the final at the London stadium “Wembley” defeated “Munich 1860” – 2:0. Also in 1966, “West Ham” reached the final of the League Cup, losing 3:5 to “Liverpool” on aggregate.

Later, Spanish football player Cesc Fabregas said that the Queen’s favorite club is the London “Arsenal”.

Cesc Fabregas

Cesc Fabregas

(Photo: Getty Images)

According to the former Gunners player, Elizabeth II herself revealed her crush during a reception for Arsenal players at Buckingham Palace in 2007. “The Queen watches football, she told us she supports Arsenal,” Fabregas said. “She definitely knew who I was, and we exchanged a few special words.”

That reception was timed to the 120th anniversary of the club’s founding. “Arsenal” became the first club in history to be honored with an audience of the Queen.

Elizabeth II also personally attended football matches, although not very often. The first game the Queen attended was the 1953 FA Cup final (held exactly one month before the coronation). Blackpool and Bolton Wanderers met at Wembley.

Queen Elizabeth (1952)

Queen Elizabeth (1952)

(Photo: Getty Images)

The next time Elizabeth II came to football only 13 years later. In 1966, England hosted the World Cup. England won their only World Cup title at this tournament. The Queen attended two games: the opening match and the final between England and Germany.

The Queen congratulates England on their victory in the 1966 World Cup final

The Queen congratulates England on their victory in the 1966 World Cup final

(Photo: Global Look Press)

Equestrian sports and jumping

Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip were big fans of equestrian sports.

Royal Ascot

Royal Ascot

(Photo: Global Look Press)

Elizabeth II practically did not miss a jump at Ascot. At the same time, she managed the horses quite well. The queen went on horseback rides even in her old age.

Queen Elizabeth rides a horse

Queen Elizabeth rides a horse

(Photo: Getty Images)

She also excelled in breeding racehorses. In 1952, Elizabeth inherited the breeding and racing stock of the late King George VI. After her horses won more than 1500 races.

Queen Elizabeth rides a horse

Queen Elizabeth rides a horse

One of the most successful was 2017, when her jumpers earned more than $500,000 in prize money (and for all years this indicator exceeded $8 million).

The Queen hosted the Windsor Royal Horse Show every year in the park near Windsor Castle.

Three horse jumping tournaments are named after Elizabeth II.

Bowling on the set-top box and a game of names

The Queen is known to have enjoyed the “Name Game”, in which players write the names of famous people or characters on a piece of paper and stick them to another player’s forehead. The task of the game is to name the ordered character, relying on the hints of other players.

In 2008, Wired magazine reported that the Queen was bowling on Wii Sports (a video game released by Nintendo for its own Wii console).

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Wii Sports

Wii Sports

(Photo: Official Nintendo website)

Wii Sports has five sports simulators: Tennis, Baseball, Bowling, Golf and Boxing. The player controls the character’s movements with a controller (which the player controls like a baseball bat and a golf club).

Pigeon races

The Royal Pigeon Racing Association claims that members of the Royal Family have been avid fans of the sport since 1886. Since the 19th century, pigeons have been bred on the Sandringham estate.

Pigeon races

Pigeon races

(Photo: Global Look Press)

During the Second World War, racing pigeons became carrier pigeons. Until the last days, Queen Elizabeth remained the patron of several public organizations involved in pigeon racing.

Tennis

Elizabeth’s memories of meeting her husband in 1939 were connected with tennis. King George VI brought his daughters to the Royal Naval College in Devon. Prince Philip conducted a tour for them. Among the places he suggested the royal entourage see were the tennis courts.

According to royal biographer Sir John Wheeler-Bennett, to show his good physical condition, the prince jumped over the net several times. Elizabeth was impressed by it.

Prince Philip maintained his love for tennis and attended many tournaments. Sometimes he was accompanied by the queen, including at Wimbledon.

Participation in the 2012 Olympics

Elizabeth II was part of the Olympic movement during the 2012 Summer Games held in London. Her Majesty not only carried the Olympic flame, but also directly participated in the opening ceremony of the Olympics.

Thomas Bach and Queen Elizabeth

Thomas Bach and Queen Elizabeth

(Photo: Global Look Press)

The Queen even starred in a short film about her going from Buckingham Palace to the Olympic Stadium in London, accompanied by James Bond played by Daniel Craig. The clip ends with her “jumping” with a parachute.

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