By Richard Pagliaro | Thursday, September 8, 2022
A nation stood to salute its departed Queen today.
Many Britons stood and wept as BBC played the national anthem “God SaveThe Queen” over a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II announcing the beloved monarch’s passing today. Queen Elizabeth II was 96 years old. She ruled a remarkable 70 years—the longest reign in British history.
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Fourteen U.S. Presidents served during Elizabeth II’s reign.
Fittingly, the Queen passed away at her beloved Balmoral Castle, her summer retreat in Scotland. The Queen, an avid horse rider for much of her life, loved roaming the outdoors with her dogs and relished the greenery, gardening and privacy she found in her retreat away from busy London.
“The death of my beloved mother, Her Majesty the Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family,” Charles, who succeeds his mother as monarch, said in his first statement as king.
The sky was crying at both Balmoral Castle and Buckingham Palace, where crowds of people gathered to lay wreaths, flowers and cards in tribute to their Queen and the Union Jack was flying at half-staff.
“We wish to convey our deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences to The Royal Family on the sad passing of Her Majesty The Queen,” Wimbledon said in a statement.
The US Open announced it will host a moment of silence in honor or Her Majesty prior to the Ons Jabeur vs. Caroline Garcia semifinal match tonight.
Only two days ago, the ill monarch gathered herself to officially greet new British Prime Minister Liz Truss, who declared the nation “devastated” bythe Queen’s passing, calling Elizabeth II “the rock on which modern Britain was built.”
Britain’s longest-ruling monarch was one of only six British monarchs whose reign lasted longer than 50 years. The Queen’s passing comes about a year-and-a-half after her husband, Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, died.
The Queen made a couple of historic Wimbledon appearances. When Virginia Wade won Wimbledon on The Championships 100th anniversary in 1977, Queen Elizabeth II presented Virginia Wade with the Rosewater Dish.
Wimbledon welcomed the Queen for a 2010 visit, which was her first trip to The Championships in 33 years.
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Tennis fans fondly recall the Queen’s 2010 visit to Wimbledon where on June afternoon she warmly greeted tennis royalty. Elizabeth II met and chatted with several champions at Wimbledon that day including Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Novak Djokovic, Andy Roddick, Caroline Wozniacki and Jelena Jankovic.
Six years after the Queen’s visit to Wimbledon, the Federer family enjoyed a kids play date at Kensington Palace. Roger and Mirka Federer’s then eight-year-old daughters Myla and Charlene and three-year-old sons Leo and Lenny—took the short trip from their hotel to Kensington Palace to spend time with their friends, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, at the palace. Prince William and wife Kate Middleton are devoted tennis fans who often visit the Royal Box.
We will miss the Queen’s calming presence, sense of adventure and her understated sense of humor. The world watched during the summer when Her Majesty and Paddington Bear got together for tea to kick off the Platinum Party at Buckingham Palace highlighted by the Queen playing Queen on her tea cup.
More than 56 million people have watched the YouTube video of Daniel Craig reprising his role as James Bond to escort Her Majesty in a helicopter above London to the opening ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Wimbledon resonates to this day with many tennis fans because it reinforced both her reverence for The Championships and respect for our sport’s champions.
Players walk past verses from Kipling’s famed “IF” poem on their trip to Centre Court which advises “If you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two imposters just the same.” The poem’s closing verses note “If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with kings nor lose the common touch.”
Meeting with world leaders or Wimbledon winners, Queen Elizabeth showed the same level of respect.
A royal icon relatable to common people because she answered the call of duty and represented her country with dignity, integrity and a true wisdom of one who walked with kings nor lost the common touch whether she walking at SW19 or alongside 007.
Photo credit: Getty