Arsenal are the only football club to ever be invited for afternoon tea with the Queen.
Back in the summer of 2006 when Arsenal moved from Highbury to the Emirates Stadium, Queen Elizabeth II was scheduled to cut the ribbon to officially open the club’s new home.
However, due to reportedly hurting her back, Prince Philip took her place.
It was reported that the Queen expressed her disappointment at missing the event, as a result, the Arsenal team were invited to Buckingham Palace for afternoon tea in February of 2007.
Footage from a BBC documentary captured the meeting between the Queen and the Arsenal team.
Then club director, Ken Friar said: “I have been in the business a year or two now and have been very fortunate to do many things, and I would think this is a highlight.”
Whilst manager Arsene Wenger added: “I think she is interested in people and will make them feel relaxed.”
Before the meeting with the Queen, the Arsenal squad were given a private tour of the state apartments by Desmond Shawe Taylor, a royal collections expert.
As the Queen arrived to greet the players. Club captain Thierry Henry introduced the players.
“It went really nicely,” Henry said afterwards. “I have no words to describe the experience the Queen has given us.”
On Thursday evening, Buckingham Palace announced the death of the Queen, aged 96.
A statement read: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon.
“The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”
After the news surfaced, tributes were paid by many, including Arsenal, who released a statement.
We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Her Majesty The Queen.— Arsenal (@Arsenal) September 8, 2022
Along with many of our supporters today, we will be taking time to mourn and reflect on Her Majesty’s incredible life and devoted service.
It read: “Everyone at Arsenal Football Club is saddened at the news of the death of Her Majesty The Queen.
“Her Majesty gave remarkable service over eight decades to the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth and we join together with so many around the world in mourning her passing and wish to extend our deepest sympathies to the Royal Family.”
Featured Image Credit: BBC
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