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Remembering The Queen: Arsenal’s trip to the Palace

Remembering The Queen: Arsenal’s trip to the Palace -Arsenal News

The funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is set to take place on Monday after her passing earlier this month. The Transfer Tavern remember her with some of the stories from Arsenal’s famous trip to Buckingham Palace back in 2007…

Queen Elizabeth the Arsenal supporter?

Cesc Fabregas, a famous member of that iconic 2006/2007 Arsenal squad, revealed after the team’s visit to Buckingham Palace that the Queen had told them she was an Arsenal fan.

In fact, she had been fond of the North London club for ‘over 50 years‘, according to a royal source, due to her mother’s admiration for the great Denis Compton, an England international cricketer who played for the Gunners between 1936 and 1950.

Arsenal remain the only football club to have ever been invited to the Palace for afternoon tea with the Queen.

Why did Arsenal go to Buckingham Palace?

The Queen was due to open the Emirates Stadium back in 2006, but was unable to attend due to a back injury.

As a result, she invited the Arsenal squad back to Buckingham Palace for afternoon tea in February 2007 as a way of apology.

What happened on the visit?

Cameras followed the Arsenal squad as they took a bus ride to the Palace and were greeted by Her Majesty and her staff members.

One Palace employee, who gave them a tour of the Queen’s photos, described meeting Gunners legend and captain Thierry Henry in particular as ‘very exciting’ and ‘extraordinary’, while even the forever composed Frenchman himself was starstruck by the ordeal, failing to properly tie his tie and even recently admitting that he ‘forgot‘ his teammate Julio Baptista’s name during the visit.

Meanwhile, Manuel Almunia has since admitted that he doesn’t actually like tea, but said you ‘have to‘ drink it if offered by the Queen.

Perhaps the most fascinating story during the visit involved Emmanuel Eboue, who allegedly asked the Queen if he could dog-sit for her corgis.

The Ivory Coast international said: “Ma’am, I am OK thank you but please, I don’t want to be a footballer anymore, I want to look after your dogs. I want to take them for walks, wash them, feed them. I want to be a dog carer.”

The Queen, Prince Philip and the team were all left laughing at the bizarre comment, particularly as Henry had warned the right-back beforehand ‘don’t do anything‘.

What happened at the end of the visit?

At the end of the visit, the Queen was gifted a figurine of the club’s emblem, a cannon.

Manager at the time Arsene Wenger even drew a laugh from her after he said: ‘It’s not to incite you to make war!’

No other football club have visited the Palace since, showing just how much of a special occasion it really was.


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