Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Queen is out and about- at the tennis

Attending Wimbeldon is not part of the Queen's royal duties, but on the weekend Queen Elizabeth returned as spectator to the tennis tournament for the first time in 33 years.

It was only fitting that she also enjoyed watching Britain's Andy Murray win his Centre Court match in an easy sweep against Finland's Jarkko Nieminen (6-3, 6-4, 6-2).

The last time Queen Elizabeth visited Wimbeldon in 1977, Virginia Wade won the women's title for Britain. (The special touch of a monarch's presence perhaps?)

The Queen received a standing ovation from the crowd, and a bow from both Murray and Nieminen, as she took her seat in the Royal Box. I wonder what the Rod Laver Arena's equivalent is to a 'Royal Box'?

I'm not going to get into the technical detail of the game, I just think it is nice that the Queen attended a match. Whatever 'nice' means. An empty gesture perhaps?

But what a Royal welcome she got! Just some of the seemingly unending list of tasks she had to complete on the day included: walking around the ground to give fans who had queued for hours the chance to see her, walking to another court where a 'special' green carpet was laid so she could watch some junior players hit the ball around. She then met a number of tennis champions (namely the top four seeds in the ladies' singles - Serena and Venus Williams, Caroline Wozniacki and Jelena Jankovic - and three leading male players - Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Roddick; Nadal was too busy preparing for his own match- selfish, selfish!) before lunching at the All England Club.

Of course the Queen couldn't leave empty handed so during lunch she was given miniature versions of the men's and ladies' trophies as a memento of her visit. All together now: "awww". In the words of Darryl Kerrigan, they're going "straight to the pool room"... along with the other half a million trinkets and trophies given to the poor woman on her travels around the world.

This was Queen Elizabeth II's fourth visit in her 58-year reign so she mustn't like the tennis much. Why choose tennis? I don't know, she doesn't even bother attending the cricket. And who cares if she does or doesn't display and evoke nationalism by rocking up to sport matches anyway?

Nonetheless, we'll be expecting you in Melbourne next January Queenie. Would be a good excuse to save face over here... you are the queen regnant after all. Or better still, check out The Ashes in Brisbane come November this year. We'll give your boys a run for their money.

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